Hyundai Trade-In Value Guarantee Dropped on Most Models

By Keith Buglewicz | March 01, 2012
In May of last year, Hyundai introduced an innovative spiff for new buyers: It would guarantee the resale value of the vehicle when it was turned back in. There were conditions of course: you had to keep it for 24 to 48 months; you had to have it serviced at a Hyundai dealership; and you had to trade it for another Hyundai. Despite the restrictions, it was a clever program, and it worked to help improve the residual value rating for Hyundai overall. Well, apparently it has done its job, as Hyundai quietly pulled the plug on the program for most of its vehicles earlier this week. "It was a marketing program and we wanted to bring a spotlight on the strength of our residual values, and it did its job," John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, told Automotive News. Residual value is one of those esoteric terms that gets bandied about in automotive circles, but it refers to how much your vehicle is worth after a specified length of time. It's also a primary selling point for many of Hyundai's competitors, such as Toyota and Honda. Both manufacturers have historically high residuals, that is, the price doesn't drop too dramatically on the used market during the time the car is owned. At the program's conclusion, Automotive Lease Guide (ALG)—which tracks these numbers—ranked Hyundai third overall in the U.S., compared to seventh in 2011. That beats Toyota, and puts Hyundai right behind Honda.
However, there is one subset of vehicles where the program still applies: Hyundai's premium offerings. The Genesis sedan, Genesis Coupe and Equus are still eligible for the residual guarantee. In this premium segment, where Hyundai is still finding its way, Krafcik told Automotive News, "This is where we thought it was most important to have that message; where one might encounter more resistance to the Hyundai brand is on the premium product side." However, we have to wonder how much longer Hyundai will continue it, even for these vehicles. The Equus ranks third in residual value behind the Lexus LS 460 and Jaguar XJ, while the Genesis is second only to the Maxima for full-size cars. Source: Automotive News, Motor Trend