Jill Merriam Key Hyundai Blog

The Awards Continue to Rack up for the Genesis

Rather than looking for reasons to by a Genesis, we are going to have to start looking for reasons not to.  I mean, what other car has racked up the amount and quality of awards in its first year of production, than the Hyundai Genesis?  It was just named the North American Car of the Year and now the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just named it Top Safety Pick Prize.  I actually drove a Hyundai Genesis yesterday with my brother Jeff.  I am currently suffering from a major sprain in my right foot so most cars haven’t been comfortable for me.  But, I have to say, I was the most comfortable in the Hyundai Genesis.  The front seat moves way back and the ride is incredibly smooth.  There was absolutely no bouncing or jarring.  We drove about 60 miles from Manchester, CT to Milford, CT and I was comfortable the whole time. 

If you are looking at a high-end Honda or Toyota or even a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW, you owe it to yourself to look at the Hyundai Genesis.  Starting at $35,000, it’s the smart choice.  And, in today’s economic climate, it’s okay to own a Hyundai.  You get luxury, reliability and America’s Best Warranty all at a reasonable price. 

For more information, visit CT’s Hyundai dealer at www.driveworryfree.com.  We service all of CT including Manchester, Hartford, Willimantic, Enfield and beyond.

Elantra is Consumer Reports Best Pick in its Class

For the second year in a row, the Elantra was named Best Pick in its class by Consumer Reports.  The one thing I know for sure is that the Elantra offers a lot of car for the money.   Right now, we are offering our 2008 Elantras, brand new, for $12,988.  Why would you buy anything else?  For under $13,000 you are getting a brand, 4 door sedan, over 33 mpg, America’s Best Warranty and the Hyundai Assurance Program. With the Hyundai Assurance program, we give you the comfort that if you lose your job, you won’t be saddled with a car payment you can’t afford.  Also, the program was just enhanced to give you three months with no payments after you lose your job.  This gives you the room to get on your feet without worrying about your car.   There is no other deal in the market right now that is as good as this.  This deal ends Monday, February 1st at 8pm.  We still have around 35 to choose from.  At Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT’s Hyundai Dealer, we are open this coming Sunday, regardless of the weather, to accomodate all our customers that want to take advantage of this deal.  If you know for sure that you want one, please email me directly at jillmerriam@driveworryfree.com with your first color choice so we can hold one aside for you.  Once these 2008 Elantras leave our showroom, we will not be able to reorder them.  The factory only has 2009’s and the rebate is signficantly less.  So, take advantage of the deal now while you can.  For more information on Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT’s Hyundai dealer, visit www.driveworryfree.com  On our website, you will find information on the 2008 Hyundai Elantra and on the Hyundai Assurance Program.  For more information on Consumer Reports, visit www.consumerreports.org

The Detriot Free Press Praises Hyundai

Remember the days when Detriot only bled red, white and blue? Well, now even Detriot’s flagship newspaper is singing Hyundai’s praises. And, it’s not an unpatriotic thing to do. In fact, Hyundai produces the Santa Fe and the Sonata in it’s state of the art plant in Alabama. At a time when the US automakers are laying people off, Hyundai actually was staffing a new plant.

At Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT’s Hyundai dealer, we are so excited about the opportunity that we have to service all our local areas, including Hartford, Willimantic, Enfield, Manchester and beyond. We are currently running an amazing sale on all Hyundais, including drastic reductions on left over 2008 Elantras and Santa Fes. Visit us at www.driveworryfree.com. Here is the article from the Detriot Free Press:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Manny Lopez
Hyundai’s strategy paying off

Detroit’s automakers have lost their mojo and not even some of the stellar products they have today are doing much to bring it home.

Hyundai, it appears, has found it.

The South Korean automaker once known for “cheap and cheerful” economy cars has kicked its game up a few notches and even those who chuckled at the thought of owning one now are paying attention.

It’s been hard not to with the massive ad campaign the company is waging.

Ad campaign resonates

Think Sunday. As in Super Bowl Sunday, the day its newest television ads hit the airwaves and took direct aim at luxury carmakers, particularly Lexus and BMW. The spot features execs from other companies screaming about newspaper stories featuring Hyundai’s luxury sedan, the Genesis, being named North American Car of the Year at the Detroit auto show.

Having not driven the Genesis yet, I can’t tell you if it compares to those other rides, but I can tell you about the commercial — something that I can’t do for the latest BMW or Lexus commercial hot spot. Similarly, I can tell you thanks to its ads, that Hyundai is offering to buy back its cars from people who lose their job (after they’ve made two payments). Rarely do 30-second spots interrupting a ballgame resonate with me — particularly car commercials, which historically are among the least memorable.

But Hyundai has done it.

Company thinks ahead

And it’s not by accident.

“It’s definitely a strategy we’re working on,” said Dan Bedore, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor America. “… this is not the same company from the 1986 Excel.”

Hyundai scored big time during the Olympics, too. The company, figuring the world would be watching, bought the first TV ad space available after Michael Phelps eighth race. Sounds like simple planning, but it’s bigger than that. Companies have to be thinking ahead and Hyundai has been doing just that.

Sure, Hyundai still has a long way to go but it is chipping away at new audiences, particularly those that typically don’t bag their own groceries or drink beer from a can. Hyundai’s commercial during the Oscars resulted in a 27 percent surge in its Web site traffic, automotive research Web site Edmunds.com said in a report this week.

Hyundai’s sales increased 14 percent in January, a far cry from the drop of nearly 30 percent or worse from most other major automakers, and they’re still swinging for the fences.

That’s as it should be. Strike when the iron is hot. Capitalize on your competitors weaknesses. Take what you can get.

Even if that means part of the strategy is explaining how to say the company name — Hyundai, as in Sunday.

Hyundai May Post Sales Gains Again This Month….

Hyundai’s stock went on a tear today in Seoul because of news that US sales could exceed expectations. I read an article about it today on Bloomberg. Prior to being a car dealer, I was a financial analyst so I can’t help but continue to feed my addiction to financial news stories. The Elantra, the Sonata and the Santa Fe are on fire this month driven by way above normal rebates and incentives. At Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT’s Hyundai dealer, we have already exceed our new car sales from February last year. And, we want to make sure that you know that we are staying open this Sunday from 11am to 4pm so that you can take advantage of them. In fact, the rebates don’t expire until this coming Monday. So, if you are in Hartford, Willimantic, Enfield or anywhere in between, be sure to visit www.driveworryfree.com and come on down to Key Hyundai of Manchester, your CT hyundai dealer, for the best values.

The Hyundai Genesis Almost Won Motortrend’s Car of the Year?

According to a blog recently posted on Motortrend, the Hyundai Genesis almost won car of the year. Just a couple of tweaks held it back. It’s interesting to keep hearing all the buzz about Hyundai. I am starting to think that it’s becoming cool to own a Hyundai. It’s almost cool in the way that Target became a cool place to shop. Target, which people started pronouncing Tarzhay, appealed to the buyer who was looking for great deals with hip designs. I know that I have to control myself from going into my local Manchester, CT Target because I’ll be tempted to walk out with a pair of cute shoes along with the diapers and wipes that I need. Hyundai’s no different, you get amazing design at a fraction of the cost of other car company’s vehicles. And, it’s been almost 20 years since quality issues plagued the company. So we now have a new generation of buyers who don’t associate Hyundai with quality issues. With the economy iced down, it’s now en vogue to be frugal – that’s just Hyundai’s cherry on top of it’s delicious sundae. To learn more about what Hyundai can offer, visist www.driveworryfree.com, CT’s Hyundai dealer serving Hartford, Manchester, Willimantic and beyond for many years.

Hyundai sweetens the pot once again….

Wow, we just got a press release from Hyundai saying that in addition to the Hyundai Assurance, if you lose your job, they’ll give you three months payment amnesty. That means they will give you a three month break to get back on your feet before you have to turn your car in. I really, really thought the incentives couldn’t get any better but I was wrong once again.

In my humble opinion, if you think you’re going to need a new car any time in the next two years, now is the time to buy one. In fact, I was talking to our office manager, Joy, here at Key Hyundai today and I said to her, “this deal is unbelievable. You can buy a new Elantra for under $13,000 and get the amazing warranty and get Hyundai Assurance, why would anyone want to buy anything else.” She said, “well, that’s on a base, base model right?” I replied, “no, that’s the point, that deal is on an Elantra GLS with the power equipment package.” I’m telling you, this is the deal of the year. For more information, as always, visit www.driveworryfree.com or email me at jillmerriam@driveworryfree.com
Thanks! Jill, Owner Key Hyundai, CT’s Hyundai Dealer.

Here’s the press release:


Hyundai Adds Payment Relief to Existing Assurance Program Limiting the Financial Risk of a New Vehicle Purchase

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Feb. 19, 2009 – Hyundai Motor America will expand the protection offered by the innovative Hyundai Assurance program with Hyundai Assurance Plus, adding 90 days of payment relief to the existing protection plan. Hyundai Assurance Plus is part of Hyundai’s Spring Sales Event, which runs from Feb. 23 to April 30, 2009. Hyundai Assurance, which debuted in January, allows consumers to return any new Hyundai leased or financed in 2009 if the owner unexpectedly loses his/her income within one year of the purchase date. Both Hyundai Assurance and Hyundai Assurance Plus are available at all participating Hyundai dealerships nationwide. For full details about the programs, visit: www.HyundaiUSA.com.
Hyundai Assurance Plus provides a one-time, 90-day payment relief benefit in the event of involuntary unemployment or physical disability. For qualifying consumers, this benefit helps them keep their vehicle for three months while attempting to replace their income. Hyundai Assurance Plus pays the lender a lump sum equal to 90 days of loan or lease payments.

Is Hyundai Assurance Legit or Will the Fine Print Get you?

As the owner of Key Hyundai of Manchester, I have heard this question asked more than a few times.  The last 18 years of mass consumerism has lead to a very cynical population, hasn’t it?  So, I went to work and read all the fine print of the Hyundai Assurance program  to make sure I was comfortable.  I now know that it’s legit.  But, the consumer still doesn’t believe it.  The challenge is how to get Key Hyundai of Manchester’s customer base to realize it was legit.  And finally, I found an independent review of the program and it looks good.  Edmunds.com analyzed it from front to back and agrees, there is no fine print. 

The way the Hyundai Assurance program works is that if you lose your job, you call Hyundai and file a claim.  They authorize your claim and take the car back.  Hyundai then turns to us as the dealer and requires us to buy the car from them.  We then market the car as a used car at Key Hyundai of Manchester.  The difference between what they paid you and what we paid is insured.  So, see, the risk to Hyundai is actually pretty low.   They are paying an upfront cost of everyone who buys a new Hyundai.

Want more information?  Go to:  http://www.driveworryfree.com/hyundai_assurance.html

Here is the article I found about edmunds.com review:

No Big Consumer Traps In Hyundai Job-Loss Deal, Experts Say

Last Update: 2/18 9:26 pm
Raleigh News and Observer

By now you’re bound to have seen or heard the Hyundai ad that promises to take back your car if you lose your job within a year of buying it.

And if you’re as cynical as most people, you probably thought: What’s in the fine print?

Well, nothing too onerous, it turns out.

Philip Reed, the senior consumer advice editor for edmunds.com, an automotive research firm, says that he’s heard of no hidden traps.

“It’s a pretty remarkable program,” Reed says. “It strikes at the very insecurity that many car buyers have: Can I step into a long-term commitment knowing that I could lose my job or that the economy could get worse and I couldn’t make the payments?”

It’s great to think that if the worst happens, your credit won’t be ruined, but Reed points out that the company is not being completely altruistic. The aim of the offer, after all, is to boost sales or at least brand awareness.

So far, that seems to be working. Hyundai’s sales last month were up 14 percent over a year earlier, a bright spot in an otherwise dismal market.

Mike Hammer, sales manager of Southern States Hyundai in Raleigh, N.C.,credits the Assurance program, as it’s called, with increasing the public’s awareness of the brand but thinks it’s the cars’ value and Consumer Reports rankings that help make the sale. He says sales were up in November, December and January.

Reed says he’s surprised that other automakers aren’t offering similar programs, though he points out that there are plenty of other deals out there.

Here’s what Hyundai says about the program on its Web site:

“If you find that you cannot make your payment because of a covered life changing event, we’ll allow you to return your vehicle and walk away from your loan obligation — and in most cases we will cover most, if not all, of the difference.”

Here’s the fine print, such as it is:

Hyundai defines life-changing event as involuntary job loss, personal bankruptcy if you’re self-employed, getting transferred overseas, physical disability and accidental death.

You must be buying or leasing a new car. You have to make at least two payments before you can file, and you have to be up to date on your payments.

Hyundai will pay the difference between the car’s trade-in value at the time you file a claim and any remaining balance on the loan up to a maximum of $7,500. It decides the value. So if the car depreciates more than $7,500 — say you’re really tough on it — you’ll be on the hook for something.

And you can’t just walk in, throw your keys on a desk and walk out. You’ll need to fill out forms and provide proof of your claims.

What about price? Are you stuck with the sticker price?

Nope. Whatever price you negotiate, the offer comes with it. You also can finance the vehicle wherever you’d like, so you can shop around for the best rate.

Driving Connecticut’s Economy

I just got a flier from our local industry association, Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association.  In it, they list satistics about how the retail car industry plays a large role in Connecticut’s economy.  Some of the statistics boggled my mind!  Did you know that:

– Dealerships in CT provide 17.7% of the total retail sales

– Dealerships in CT employee around 14,000 at the end of 2008

– Dealerships in CT make up 14% of the total Connecticut payroll

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I see the amount of money that Key Hyundai of Manchester pays each month in sales tax, unemployment tax and other taxes.   But, when it’s put on paper, the numbers seem much more impressive.  I know that car dealers have a bad rap and in some cases, that is certainly deserved.  But, the reality is that most car dealers in CT are hard working, honest individuals who make a huge contribution to the economy and who support a ton of local causes.  So, remember when you are buying a new car, that you are helping to support a local business that keeps over 14,000 people employed state wide in good jobs paying fair wages.  For more information on Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT’s Hyundai dealer, visit www.driveworryfree.com

Hyundai is Hip

I just read on the newswire that Hyundai is this season’s 26 episode sponsor of the Fox TV hit 24. Now, I’m not a huge fan of the show because I find the doom and gloom a little too close to reality. And, after a hard day at work at Key Hyundai of Manchester I prefer to unwind to something a bit brighter. But, my husband loves the show and watches it religiously.

My lack of love for the show aside, I think it’s a brilliant move on Hyundai’s part to sponsor the show. It gets unbelievable ratings and the Hyundai Genesis is going to integrated into the plot. Hyundai’s strategy is to spend $80 million on the launch of the Genesis. I don’t think it’s because they think the Genesis is going to be a volume car but rather they want to use the Hyundai Genesis to move the Hyundai brand name upmarket. It’s amazing for us to see the public starting to pick up on what we’ve always known. You can buy a Hyundai for thousands less than a Honda or a Toyota and feature for feature, it far outweighs it competitors. Come see the Hyundai lineup for yourself at Key Hyundai of Manchester, Connecticut’s Hyundai dealer. Or, visit us on the web at www.driveworryfree.com

President’s Day Marks the Beginning of the Car Selling Season in Connecticut

Hope springs eternal, regardless of the problems we are facing.  In New England, President’s Day always kicks off the spring selling season for car dealers.  I love this time of year, the days are getting longer and warmer and you just know the warm weather is around the corner. 

At Key Hyundai of Manchester, CT we are no exception.  We are ready to buck the economic trend, make deals and pick up market share.  In order to do this, we have to clear out old inventory.  Earlier this year, the Hyundai Elantra was hot.  In fact, there wasn’t a Hyundai dealer in Connecticut that could keep one in stock.  In two months, we sold over 100 2008 Elantras.  The Hyundai Elantra was hot for three reasons:  gas prices spiked, the Hyundai Elantra was named Consumer Reports Best Pick and Hyundai had a $2,000 rebate on the car.    When the Hyundai Elantra was hot we took everyone we could get from the factory.  When gas prices receded, sales fell off dramatically.  Now, we are left with 50 of them that we have to sell.  When I say, “have to sell” it’s not just car dealer talk, it’s reality.  We need to get out of our 2008 inventory.  And, all the reasons that people were buying the Hyundai Elantra then still exist now – great gas mileage,  Consumer Reports Best Pick and strong rebates.  So, we are kicking off this selling season by Money Matching on all 2008 Elantras.  Right now, the Elantra has a $2,000 rebate and if you buy one before the end of the month, we will match that $2,000 rebate with $2,000 off the vehicle.   That is a total of $4,000 off INVOICE on a new Elantra.  To reserve your new Elantra, go to http://www.driveworryfree.com/forms/appointment_testdrive

Thanks!  And, as always, I can be reached at jillmerriam@driveworryfree.com