AutoNation Follows Hyundai’s Lead
By Brendan Moore
AutoNation, the largest dealer organization in the United States with 313 new vehicle dealerships in 15 states, has launched a new sales incentive program today that covers up to six months of payments for new and used vehicle loan contracts in the instance that the borrower loses his or her job.
The program is called “Payment Protection,” and will cover the payments as the borrower looks for a new job, said Mike Maroone, president of AutoNation, the country’s largest dealership chain, in an interview with Reuters.
“It is especially timely in this environment,” he said. “There are really two big issues in retailing, availability of credit and consumer confidence. This attacks the consumer confidence issue.”
The main caveats are that there is a 90-day waiting period for eligibility for the program, and, that the borrower must be suffer their job loss from no actions of their own. The incentive costs the borrower nothing.
AutoNation’s new program is very close in terms and conditions to the program Hyundai rolled out months ago, and which has been credited with their good sales performance so far in 2009. This while the rest of the auto industry is at decades-low volumes.
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