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Hyundai Wants To Be The Friendliest Automaker, Not Just The Cheapest

Dealership / 6 Comments

With an improved customer experience.

Hyundai has been dealing with an issue regarding the sales of its Genesis luxury vehicles. As of now, Genesis cars are still sold in the same dealerships as Hyundai cars, though the company has continued to flip-flop on whether it should open standalone Genesis dealers. In our opinion, Hyundai would be smart to separate the two brands otherwise consumers will struggle to take Genesis seriously as a luxury competitor. Even if Genesis doesn't split, Hyundai is attempting to improve its own dealership experience, as Automotive News reports.

Buying a luxury car should be a very different experience than buying a run-of-the-mill car. Hyundai is currently seen as a value brand, so many consumers come in looking for the best price rather than a good customer experience - the opposite of what is true for luxury shoppers. Dean Evans, Hyundai's chief marketing officer, is hoping to change the perception of Hyundai from the best value to the best customer experience.

"You've got to have something in front of them besides a big, fat rebate," Evans told Automotive News. Customers "remember us because we're this good brand. They don't remember us because we have the best warranty and the lowest price."

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Hyundai's most potent weapon in the quest to improve customer satisfaction is its Shopper Assurance program. This program gives customers access to market-based online pricing, flexible test drives, and three-day refunds on new vehicles. Most of Hyundai's dealers have adopted the program, but some "volume dealers [still] believe in the $69-a-month Elantra" Evans said. Of Hyundai's 840 dealers, 720 have adopted Shopper Assurance, though the last 120 have been hard to convince. Hyundai hopes that by giving the consumer more up-front information, it can improve its overall customer experience and brand appeal.