Automakers are jumping to respond to unique customer needs during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing incentives such as 0% interest and delayed payments.
Though we are still in the early days of the pandemic here in the U.S., significant economic disruption has already occurred, with no clear end in sight. Many businesses have had to shut their doors, and thousands of people are at home without paychecks. While Congress works on its relief measures, car manufacturers Ford, Hyundai, and G.M. are taking steps to further help buyers and existing owners in these uncertain times.
Ford: Reaching Out to Drivers and Communities
On Monday, Ford launched an ad campaign, spreading awareness around its support programs. “We want to make sure that anyone who needs assistance knows it’s available,” said Marion Harris, chief executive officer, Ford Motor Credit Company, in a statement.
Existing owners and leasers financially impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to be in touch with the company so new payment arrangements can be made. New owners have the option of delaying payments for 90 days. “Ford is committed to lending a hand to the people who rely on us,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales, and service, in the same release. “The peace of mind of our Ford and Lincoln customers is our top priority as we work through the developments of this outbreak.”
In addition to helping drivers, Ford’s philanthropic branches have begun funneling much-needed funds and human resources toward community needs, such as meals for seniors and children out of school and shelter to at-risk populations.
Hyundai: Responding on Multiple Fronts
In response to the outbreak, Hyundai has reinstituted its ’08-’09 Assurance Job Loss Protection Program. If a new owner who purchases or leases between March 14th and April 30th loses their job, Hyundai will make up to 6 months of payments. For some new buys financed by Hyundai Capital, Hyundai will also defer payments for 90 days upon request.
At the same time, in a Monday statement, Hyundai laid out a comprehensive plan to help protect customers and employees from the virus. The company’s strategy includes suspended international travel, telecommuting wherever possible, and frequent cleaning.
General Motors: Offering Peace of Mind
General Motors has also launched several initiatives to help well-qualified buyers who might need a hand as well as current owners who might be facing crises.
To start, G.M. is offering interest-free financing for 7 years on select 2019 and 2020 models. The company is also allowing a 120-day payment deferment on many vehicles when financing with G.M. Financial.
Though they’ll be keeping dealerships open, G.M. recognizes the need for flexibility. For people unable or wary of leaving their homes, G.M. will deliver cars bought online right to customers.
Finally, G.M. is offering new and current Chevy owners complimentary OnStar(c) crisis assist services for a limited time.
With these three leading the way, others in the industry will likely react to the situation and market. Dealers and customers can expect more changes as companies do their part to stem the spread of the pandemic and the economic fallout that accompanies it.
Featured image by: https://www.caranddriver.com/ford/ecosport