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Hyundai promises $1.49 gas, 2010 Equus

Posted by Bill Griffith  July 1, 2009 04:27 PM

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Hyundai's gas-price guarantee, which locks its new car buyers into a year's worth of gas (12,000 miles) at $1.49 a gallon, is the latest in a series of well-timed marketing moves that have solidified the brand's name. (Update: Suzuki today announced it's giving away free gas to SX4 buyers, but only for the summer)

When Hyundai made its second attempt to crack the United States market in the 1990s, it offered a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty to convince buyers that its latest cars would be reliable.

That corporate endeavor continues to drive the company: Hyundai vehicles ranked No. 4 (up from No. 13) in the J.D. Power Annual Ranking of Initial Quality (problems reported in the first 90 days of ownership).

In January, seeking to reassure skittish buyers, Hyundai offered an "Assurance" program, offering to take back vehicles from buyers who lost their jobs.
The program worked. Though sales are off 8 percent, well below the industry average of 37 percent, Hyundai's market share has increased from 2.9 to 4.2 percent.

Now comes the gas price guarantee. When gas was more than $4. a gallon last year, Chrysler offered a $2.99 guarantee, but the program fizzled when gas prices fell. It's doubtful that we'll see $1.49 gas again, giving this latest Hyundai marketing plan the look of another winner.

A question for another day is whether the company's plan to offer a vehicle for all buyers will be successful, instead of staying with its established strength of small and mid-sized vehicles. Hyundai plans to bring a top-of-the-line Equus coming to market in 2010, upstaging the acclaimed Genesis sedan and coupe.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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7 comments so far...
  1. I could have sworn earlier this week I saw the Hyundai website offering verious amounts of money to be paid monthly to people who buy certain models. Like $250/mo. for 1 year if you bought a Sonata; $150 for lower priced models like the Accent or Elantra.

    When I heard of this new program I returned to the site and the deal I mentioned seems to be over.

    Hyundai seems to be evolving into a strong compeditor to the bigger brands. The company also coined programs that care about their consumers which recently have been copied by the larger companies.

    I will take a serious look at Hyundai when I look for a new car. The prices and warranty are hard to compete with. Reliability and Quality of Materials have made vast improvements in recent years.

    If and when these new premium Hyundai models start becoming best selling models I hope they continue to offer reasonable priced vehicles and never forget their heritage.

    Posted by Andy July 2, 09 09:42 AM
  1. Hyunadai's are good cars. I've never owned one by my friends that do own them love them. No real problems, the warranty and price can't be beaten.

    While some view cars as a luxury item, I think the vast majority of us view them as practical things, and Hyundai is more practical than most cars.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 2, 09 10:53 AM
  1. We bought a new Hyundai Elantra in 2000 and it has been the most trouble free car we've ever owned.

    Posted by dtigerr July 2, 09 12:22 PM
  1. I've bought two new Hyundai's since 2000.....loved them both, each has gone well over 100K miles with no problems whatsoever. Great warranty, great quality, great service - I will definitely buy another Hyundai within the next couple of years - hopefully the gas incentive will still be in place!!

    Posted by Princessruger July 2, 09 02:49 PM
  1. I purchased two Hyundai's in early 2006 brand new - a Tucson and an Accent and I've had zero issues with both cars. I've only had them in for regularly scheduled maintenance and oil changes and they both run great. I would definitely recommend purchasing a Hyundai if you're in the market for a new vehicle.

    Posted by Julyisfinallyhere July 3, 09 04:39 AM
  1. Just saw a commercial last night with the deal I mentioned above. If you buy a Sonata( a qualifying Sonata), Hyundai will give you $500/month for a whole year.

    And something to the fact that even if you return the car with their Assurance program, they will continue the $500/mo. till the end of the year period.

    Posted by Andy July 7, 09 09:37 AM
  1. So, this is essentially another $500-$1000 discount (assuming we don't see $4 gas again), since the offer is capped at approx 500 gallons.

    Posted by gassomuch July 8, 09 02:58 PM

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
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Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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