Hyundai Motors unveiled its plan to become the latest automaker to attempt to streamline and improve the customer experience with auto dealers through its new “Shopper Assurance” program.
The new program focuses on four pillars: transparent pricing, flexible test drives, streamlined purchasing and a three-day money-back guarantee. If these concepts sound vaguely familiar, they should as most of them have been attempted before by other automakers.
“For nearly a decade, the word ‘Assurance’ has been synonymous with Hyundai and represents our efforts in redefining the car ownership experience,” said Dean Evans, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America.
“Shopper Assurance is the next step in that tradition and is car buying made simple. We expect this to be a differentiator, as our research showed that 84% of people would visit a dealership that offered all four features over one that did not. It is the future of car buying, and our commitment to creating a flexible, efficient and better way to purchase a car in partnership with our dealer body.”
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The program was crafted after the automaker gathered input from customers as well as dealers. The idea is to remove the frustration and trepidation associated with heading into a new car dealership. One of the issues shoppers face is what does this car “really cost?” Dealers will post “fair market” prices for each vehicle, which is the MSRP minus incentives and dealer-offered discounts. While not being called “no-haggle” pricing, that’s the general idea.
Another issue potential buyers face is trying to get time behind the wheel of a vehicle. Now that can be scheduled using “Hyundai Drive,” which can be accessed on the dealer’s website, and allows the user to set up a drive a location other than the dealership at a day and time that’s convenient for them.
The onerous paperwork so often associated with buying a new car can now be completed online through the Shopper Assurance program, including applying for financing, calculating payments and valuing trade-ins.
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However, the most appealing part of the new program may be the three-day money back guarantee, which gives buyers three days or 300 miles to determine if they like the vehicle. If not — and assuming it’s not damaged — the dealer will buy it back at the purchase price.
Shopper Assurance is being piloted by dealers in Miami, Orlando, Dallas and Houston and once any kinks are worked out, it’ll be rolled out for dealers across the U.S. — who chose to participate. Hyundai officials did not reveal how many dealers are expected to participate and if there are any additional costs to the dealers or Hyundai for the program, such as how will they pay for the time involved in completing the flexible test drives.
“We’ve listened to our customers, and they want convenience and simplicity when it comes to buying a car. Shopper Assurance is going to give our dealers the tools we need to exceed the expectations of today’s shopper,” said Andrew DiFeo, chairman, Hyundai National Dealer Council and dealer principal, Hyundai of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida.
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“With a strong lineup of new cars and CUVs, we expect that Shopper Assurance will give us a competitive advantage and help turn prospects into buyers. We are creating a modern purchasing process where transparency and convenience are paramount.”