Buy Now, Return Later? - NBC4 Washington

Buy Now, Return Later?

Hyundai offers aggressive program to snag customers



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    Under Hyundai's Assurance program, customers who lose their job can sell their car back to the dealership.

    As expected, December brought dismal returns for the leading automakers.  Now Hyundai is taking an aggressive step to increase consumer confidence in buying a new car.

    The automaker has rolled out a new "Assurance" program, that provides a kind of insurance to customers.  Under the plan, if a customer loses their job after buying a car, they can return the car to the dealership.

    "There's a great deal of uncertainty right now in the economy and employment, and people are concerned about making a major purchase," Bill Cash with Fitzgerald Auto told News4.

    There are conditions to the buyback offer; it is only good for the first year, and the buyer must make at least two payments.  Hyundai will pay up to $7,500 to buy back the car.

    Hyundai's promotion comes after staggering losses for carmakers.  Chrysler sales were down 53% last month, Toyota sales were down 37% and Honda sales lost 35%.

    Washington Post columnist Warren Brown says Hyundai's new "Assurance" program will be a good indicator of whether the auto industry can survive the economic downturn.

    "If the Hyundai program doesn't move the consumer confidence meter toward the positive mark, then we really have a lot to worry about," Brown said.