Buying a car is usually a nerve-wracking, anxiety-inducing fight to the death, and as a millennial, I'm just not into that (or so I've been told). Hyundai wants to change that dynamic and make buying a new car easy and as low-stress as possible with its new nationwide Shopper Assurance program.
Shopper Assurance made its debut in four pilot markets last year, (Miami, Orlando, Dallas and Houston) and was such a hit with the locals that Hyundai has decided to take it across the US. Despite having one of the least fun names imaginable, the program seems well thought out and could be a game changer for Hyundai.
"The positive response to Shopper Assurance exceeded our expectations, and it's clear that customers want a more convenient way to buy a car," said Dean Evans, chief marketing officer of Hyundai Motor America, in a news conference at the Chicago Auto Show. "Shopper Assurance is a differentiator for Hyundai and significantly improves the perception of the brand and our dealers. It is now available nationally because of the dedication of our dealers to deliver the best experience possible and adapt quickly to changing buyer preferences with new technologies and innovation."
Shopper Assurance is essentially a four-headed hydra of sensible car buying ideologies. First, participating Hyundai dealers post the market price (MSRP minus incentives, etc.) on the website, so there is no misunderstanding about what the vehicle costs. This is meant to help reduce the need for haggling.
Next, Hyundai has what it's calling the "Flexible Test Drive." This lets the customer book a test drive through the dealer directly or through an app and then have the vehicle delivered to a separate location of the customer's choosing so they can put it through its paces. If the customer decides that this new Hyundai is Certified Dope, they can complete the bulk of the required purchasing paperwork online, reducing what needs to be done at a dealer to the absolute bare minimum. Lastly, if it turns out that this new Hyundai isn't quite as dope the customer thought, they can return it within three days for their money back.
Sounds great, right? But how good was it for Hyundai? According to survey data, 94 percent of customers either loved or liked the process and 56 percent of buyers said it influenced their decision to buy a Hyundai. If it can repeat this success nationwide, it will be interesting to see what other marques adapt their own buying process to more clearly mirror Shopper Assurance.