Hyundai Motor America is bringing back a revised version of its Assurance Job Loss Protection program for customers affected by the uncertain economic environment the coronavirus pandemic has created.
Ford is offering something similar.
Hyundai will make up to six months of payments for new-car owners who lose their jobs and have purchased or leased their vehicle through Hyundai Capital by April 30.
For select new purchases through then financed by Hyundai Capital, Hyundai is deferring payments for 90 days at the customer’s request.
“We understand the extreme uncertainty created by the coronavirus and the anxiety experienced by our customers,” says Hyundai Motor North America CEO José Muñoz.
Ford says existing Ford Credit customers in the U.S. affected by COVID-19 who purchased or are leasing vehicles are encouraged to contact the captive lender to discuss options if they are having payment difficulty. For example, they may be able to change a payment due date or delay a payment.
“Ford is committed to lending a hand to the people who rely on us,” says Mark LaNeve, the automaker’s vice president-U.S. marketing, sales and service.
Ford Credit also is giving customers who buy new vehicles the option to delay their first payment for 90 days.
Other automakers likely will follow suit on the “goodwill gestures from Ford and Hyundai,” says Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds auto analyst.
Such payment-relief programs “are extremely helpful for car owners experiencing financial hardship,” she says.
Hyundai Assurance Job Loss Protection was a first of its kind program when the automaker introduced it in 2009 during the recessionary financial crisis of the time.
Back then, Hyundai provisionally would buy back vehicles if owners lost their jobs within 12 months of purchase. General Motors and Ford subsequently offered similar plans.
The original Hyundai program won public accolades, but few buyers actually had to resort to use it.
Nor did it do much to jump-start vehicle sales that had dropped from 16.2 million in 2007 to 10.6 million in 2009.
“People who think they are going to lose their jobs are not buying cars,” a Troy, MI-based Suburban Auto Collection finance executive said at the time.