Hyundai is building a reputation as an innovator… from offering a 100,000-mile warranty to allowing customers to return their cars if they lose a job.
Now the company is even defying the U.S. government’s rules by getting a jump-start on the cash-for-clunkers program. Slated to start on July 23, Hyundai dealerships will allow customers to bring in clunkers right now to take advantage of up to $4,500 off the purchase price of a qualifying new car.
It’s a bold move, considering the government could potentially pull the plug on the program or make a sudden change as to which cars qualify. Hyundai is playing the odds, though, letting people bring in their ’94 Explorers and giving them $4,500 off a $14,000 Elantra.
According to a Hyundai study, 11 percent of car buyers were waiting until the government’s program took effect to buy a new car. It could be a brilliant move, capturing customers who might otherwise shop for other brands when they all begin offering the program.
John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said,
We appreciate what Washington has done getting the program completed, but it’s clear that the wait has left many potential car-buyers on the sidelines. We thought it was imperative to get funding to our dealers so that they could implement the program right away and satisfy the demand they’ve been hearing from consumers.
Don’t get too excited, though, if you have a 20-year old Toyota clunker that is rated at 25 miles per gallon; you won’t qualify. Congress has taken an otherwise good idea and put so many restrictions on it that many interested people won’t have cars that qualify.
If you have an old American-built SUV with a seized transmission, though, you’re in luck, because Hyundai will probably give you $4,500 for it today.
Have a question about whether your car qualifies? Let us know and we’ll get you an answer!
*UPDATE* We just heard smart is offering a $99-per-month, 36-month loan on a new fortwo. Careful, though – at the end of the term, you’ll owe a monster payment of $6,667. You won’t find that little nugget until you read the small print, so please research any Cash for Clunkers offer you’re considering very carefully.