By on July 2, 2009

Hyundai has been a big winner in the European cash-for-clunker sweepstakes, and they’re preparing their US dealers for another boom. Bloomberg reports that Hyundai is advancing cash to dealers to “cover new-vehicle credits for consumers until the federal government completes rules for the program later this month and begins paying dealers.” And despite NHTSA warnings that “If a dealer chooses to structure a transaction before the final rule is issued, they will bear the risks associated with later demonstrating that the transaction meets all of the specifications of the final rule,” deals are already being done. A Virginia dealership has already sold the first vehicle under Hyundai’s offer, replacing a 1995 Ford Explorer with an Elantra Touring. With a $15,000 fine threatened for deals that don’t comply with the program’s final rules, this is being done without the approval of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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26 Comments on “Hyundai Advances Clunker Cash to Dealers...”


  • avatar
    zora

    The Elantra Touring looks like a loaf of bread, with a few half slices on the front end. A future classic? Or a future clunker?

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    As long as they structure the deals right and follow the rules, what do they have to lose? They’re going to be making deals while everyone else waits on the Federal Government. Sounds like Hyundai’s ready to kick some ass and sell some cars.

  • avatar
    AndrewDederer

    And the first clunker for cash is.. An Explorer. Dang, did I call it or what?

  • avatar
    WetWilly

    The Elantra Touring looks like a loaf of bread, with a few half slices on the front end. A future classic? Or a future clunker?

    Any car that comes from the factory with a B&M short shifter (like the Touring) should get an exemption from the clunker label.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Looks like Hyundai is hell bent on using the Great Recession as a stepping stone.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Hyundai to me seems to be what GM could have been…

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Hyundai’s marketing campaign is pretty creative: Assurance, $1.49 gas, and now early-issue CFC deals. Car of the Year Genesis (for what it’s worth).

    Everyone else just looks like a copycat.

    However, I don’t support Cash-For-Clunkers. The taxpayers just gave Katherine Michon a $4500 subsidy while she incurred more debt upon herself. Neither she nor Hyundai are to blame; it’s Congress and the President who want to subsidize the US to prosperity by spreading the wealth of others.

  • avatar
    beller

    I think the same folks who wrote are tax code are writing the rules for cash for clunkers…..scary. however give the company credit. they are definetly out marketing all of the competition.

  • avatar
    beller

    hyundia’s new tagline.”Hyundia…we will do [email protected] anything”

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Beller, I agree with signal11’s assessment:

    “We will do whatever it takes to buy market share.”

    They know Detroit, their competition for the price-sensitive customer, can’t afford to match them. And it’ll pay off in the long run, just as it did for the Japanese.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Once again, Hyundai shows its emerging mastery of the car business while mouth-breathers continue to live in 1996.

    Don’t underestimate this company. Go to any Hyundai forum and tell me what you find… engine mod debates among engineers, shopping advice for 20″ rims, etc. Hyundai is not only becoming the new Toyota; it is also becoming the new Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    Nothing against Hyundai, they are not bad economy cars when you compare to the domestics or other Korean products.

    Not my cup of tea, though. No disc brakes on the rear axle. Well, neither does Toyota…

    Do they have timing chains now, or still timing belts? Belt would be a deal breaker to me (along with drum brakes). Do they have hybrids in the works? They don’t have fancy diesels either. so they are like Opel/GM somehow (just better quality).

    If they made the Hyundais more “premium” with good brakes, standard safety equipment (I believe Accent still has no ABS in lowest trim), would offer more hatches or wagons and left the cheapo cars to Kia… then they could make it.

  • avatar
    don1967

    @ kaleun

    My 2008 Santa Fe has 4-wheel disc brakes, timing chain, a hybrid in the works, and diesels all over Europe and Asia. It also has standard ESC, TCS, ABS, and WTF.

    Welcome to 2009.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    @kaleun

    What century are you living in?

    And for what it’s worth, my mother’s Camry doesn’t have ABS, either.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    kaleun,

    Check out the new ones, you might like what you see.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    äh, the Yaris and Corolla have discs on the rear axle in standard trim? (I know in Europe they do, but this is America). The accent has rear disc brakes? not according to the website.

    I meant cars, not SUVs or trucks, sorry if that lead to confusion. The Santa Fe actually is one of the nicer Hyundais and would be something to test drive if I was in the market for that kind of vehicle, especially with timing chain :-) (the Tucson I think is ugly)

    Their diesels are competitive with the VW/Mercedes/Fiat/French diesels? That is news. I used to have a Hyundai Getz in Germany and after I had mine they “started” having diesels. In 2003 when we bought a second car we looked into that but it was nothing you would be able to sell in Europe (and apparently they didn’t sell many of their diesels). I’m sure they learned form that, but are they on pare with the European ones??? Even Toyota and Honda were behind with Diesels (although closer to the Europeans than Hyundai)

    A “hybrid in the works”, like GM has the Volt “in the works”? Every car manufacturer has something in the works, however, only what you actually have counts. whne wil they bring it out (for real) and is it full-hybrid (like Prius) or mild-hybrid (like Honda)? In which of their vehicles? To me right now Toyota, Honda and Ford actually have hybrids. Everyone else just has some test cars (Chrysler Aspen :-) with mostly not even their own drive train. I believe Hyundai will be one of the few manufacturer actually coming out with one of their own that is decent. but I don’t know specifics about their actual progress.. so enlighten me.

    It was a real question about the timing chain, not meant to be insulating or sarcastic. Do their cars have chains too? I know they have variable valve timing. If they have chains they become more a real alternative. I just saw the Elantra has 4-wheel discs. This really is good progress. wish they provided standard VSC as well (applies to every car, not just Hyundai)

  • avatar
    WetWilly

    The accent has rear disc brakes? not according to the website.

    The Accent is the only US Hyundai without 4-wheel disc brakes. BTW, the SE model comes with ABS standard; ABS is available on the GLS. The new Accent, which should be coming as a 2011 model, is expected to have ABS, stability control, and EBD standard across the line.

    Their diesels are competitive with the VW/Mercedes/Fiat/French diesels?

    Hyundai’s new 2.0 & 2.2 litre R-spec diesels put out 181 hp and 289 lb-ft for the 2.0, and 197 hp and 321 lb-ft for the 2.2. Both are Euro-5 compliant. Of course, we won’t see them in the U.S.

    As an aside, the Hyundai Tau V8 (in the Genesis) is on Ward’s 10 Best Engines list. Hyundai has openly shown a supercharged version of the Tau (IIRC output was 460 hp) that has received virtually no attention.

    A “hybrid in the works”

    Hyundai is past the “in the works” point. July 8 is the official intro date in South Korea for the Elantra LPI Hybrid (Liquefied Petroleum Injected); they’re taking pre-launch orders up to July 7. As for the Volt, guess which car gets to debut the Volt’s LG lithium-ion polymer batteries? The Elantra Hybrid.

    It was a real question about the timing chain, not meant to be insulating or sarcastic. Do their cars have chains too?

    The new World Engines have timing chains. Older Hyundai engines have belts.

  • avatar
    Otto Krump

    I like the Elantra touring, the world needs more small wagons that aren’t trying to be SUVs
    What’s the big deal about drums on the back wheels, on a econo car they do the job just fine. Cheaper to service too.
    Hyundai is redefining the small car market all by themselves. Last August, (before the meltdown) started looking for an city econo car. Yaris web price was $15K, Fit $16K, and Aveo $12K. (Cdn prices) Accent $10K, no not as good as the Yaris or Fit in all areas, but not $5K worse. Aveo was just garbage at any price.
    Absolutely no shocker that Hyundai is increasing sales while just about every other company’s sales plummet.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    hyundia’s new tagline.”Hyundia…we will do [email protected] anything”

    First of all, WTF is a “Hyundia”?

    Secondly, Hyundai may be going out on a limb with some of their promos, but they’re making sales. In this economy, whatever it takes. And maybe they’ll get some people believing in their products and returning to buy another car. It’s all win for them.

  • avatar
    don1967

    kaleun,

    Even a garden-variety Sonata V6 has a timing chain, variable valve timing, disc brakes all around, stability control, traction control, etc. It is built like a brick, finished in high-quality materials, and on the highway is damn near as quiet as a Lexus.

    Dynamically its suspension might not be quite as sophisticated as a BMW or even a Honda, but I could say the same thing of most cars.

    You really need to get out more often :)

  • avatar
    kaleun

    Thanks for clarifying all.

    Hope they will get the hybrids state-side then too and in many models.
    Not really convinced about their diesels, the ones you mentioned are high-powered. I don’t think anyone in Europe purachses an Accent or Elantra with 181 hp. I suppose 1.6 l / 100 hp would be a mass market diesel in Europe (despite the autobahn, there only expensive Audis etc. have more than 150 hp).

    anyway, seem to have become a reasonable choice. Even if I might not buy one, having some good competition will benefit me too when I buy a Mazda or similar :-)

    The Hyundai Getz I had I wasn’t too excited about, sticky transmission, not too good finish. Well, it is better than a Chrysler any day.

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    This is a bit off topic, but I have a candidate for the cash for clunkers. My 3rd car is a vintage 94 Land Cruiser and it needs some work, my wife complains about it, etc.

    I am *not* seriously in the market for a car, but I started reading this web site a few weeks ago, and the animal spirits being what they are, I stopped by a dealer.

    i suppose it wasn’t *just* a dealer, but a Porsche dealer. Just to take a look at a basic Cayman. Anyway, they had a deal on their last 2008, nice color, etc., surprisingly low price. One thing led to another and I am test driving it. Very interesting experience.

    Back to reality. I pitched the cash for clunkers program, and they didn’t have a clue, other than what they read in the papers.

    Back at the ranch, I checked out the details of the program. Own/insure the car — check. Land Cruiser milage (12 per the epa, but seems optimistic), New car over 22 MPG combined — per the epa, the base Cayman gets 23 combined. Barely passed. New car MRP less than $45k — unfortunately not. I don’t suppose that the dealership will be doing any of these deals.

    Maybe I’ll see what the local dealers have in a Genesis Coupe.

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    By the way, Hyundai is in a very nice position regarding currency.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=USDKRW=X&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

    The KRW has strengthened a bit from lows earlier this year, but the tailwinds of devaluating a currency can be significant.

    This isn’t everything, but I think people tend to underestimate the impact of currency — The cumulative effect of a strong dollar over an extended period of time has been enormous.

    Now it’s Japan’s turn to show if their corporate strengths work without a tailwind.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I’m sorry to disappoint the bubble of optimism here. But Hyundai’s quality overall is about equivalent to GM (which is actually pretty good for most models) and a bit less than Ford.

    Toyota, Honda and Nissan really accomplished themselves through the outstanding quality of their vehicles over the decades. Hyundai has very competitive quality. But it’s nowhere near a differentiator like it was for these Japanese firms.

    As for their marketing? The best of the decade. Bar none. I would even put it ahead of Subaru whose advertisers are likely the gold standard in the industry at this point.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Kudos for Hyundai for being so aggressive and creative with their incentives.

    In comparison, GM came out with another 0% marketing special… the problem is that most consumers have simply come to expect 0% financing on their cars so it’s hard to imagine that this is driving much incremental traffic. Frankly, does anyone buy a GM car without cash or financing on the hood anymore? They remind me of the furniture store where I grew up that had a “going out of business sale” every weekend for 5 years… nobody ever shopped there during he week!

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    “Hyundai … and they’re preparing their US dealers for another boom.”
    How to clean up auto installment loan body parts?

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