The big news in automotive marketing this week was that Joel Ewanick is leaving Hyundai and going to head up marketing at Nissan. Hyundai won 2009 marketer of the year under Ewanick’s leadership and the company implemented the breakthrough Hyundai Assurance Program.
The Hyundai Assurance Program was a stroke of brilliance at a time when the economy and the auto industry were in a tailspin. It basically gave consumers a no risk way to purchase a vehicle. If you bought a Hyundai and subsequently lost your job, you could return the car, no questions asked. Truly brilliant and it propelled Hyundai through the recession and out the other end. Hyundai’s 2009 sales grew 8% and its share of market was up 1.1 points. This performance earned it elite status as one of only three automobile brands (Kia & Subaru were the others) to increase volume in 2009, while the industry overall declined 21%*.
The Hyundai Assurance Program was an unqualified success in a tough marketing climate. But now what? (more…)