This graph of Hyundai’s market since 1993 is a refreshing antidote to yesterday’s depressing Detroit market share picture. And it doesn’t take a whiz kid to deduce the single most important factor in Hyundai’s success. Notice a bit of an uptick starting in 1998? That was the year Hyundai introduced its 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. It’s been suggested before on these pages that GM should address its “perception gap” with meaningful improvements in warranty coverage rather than more talk. After all, if it could fix Hyundais weak 1990s-era rep, it couldn’t hurt The General’s. This seems to be conclusive proof that warranties matter as much as the products they cover. After all, what good are a few extra horsepower or more interior room to a consumer compared to insulation from risk?
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