DETROIT, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) has rolled out a new incentive program for U.S. consumers that allows them to return vehicles within the first year of purchase if they lose income.
Hyundai’s plan comes at a time when industry-wide U.S. auto sales remain at their lowest in at least two decades under the pressure of tight credit and weak consumer confidence.
“In this uncertain economy, we are looking for ways to reassure shoppers that Hyundai still represents the best value in the auto industry,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America’s acting chief executive.
The 12-month vehicle return program, which took effect over the past weekend, is provided on every new Hyundai that is financed or leased at participating dealers, the South Korean automaker said in a statement.
Earlier this decade, Hyundai saw sharp growth in the U.S. market driven by an attention-grabbing 10-year warranty.
That strategy allowed Hyundai to claim the mantle as the fastest-growing major automaker earlier this decade, but it fell short of ambitious U.S. sales targets in 2007 and 2008, hit by the industry-wide slowdown in sales.
Hyundai’s U.S. sales were down 10 percent through the end of November. It is scheduled to report sales for December later on Monday. (Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Andre Grenon)