Automakers are beginning to roll out incentive programs designed to reassure customers that they can buy a new car without having to worry about losing their ability to pay for it during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hyundai said it is reviving its Hyundai Assurance Job Loss Protection Program to give owners “peace of mind in uncertain times,” as the COVID-19 outbreak leads to concerns that Americans will stop buying new cars and trucks.
The program was first launched during the Great Recession, when it helped Hyundai gain market share on its competitors despite the automotive industry’s sales crisis during that period.
Hyundai said the program will provide up to six months of car payments to new buyers if they lose their jobs involuntarily. It will also provide 90 days of payment deferral on new purchases of vehicles like the Hyundai Palisade SUV and the Elantra sedan.
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Ford is making a similar move by offering customers “potential delay of payments to provide relief” through its credit division.
It’s also providing new-car buyers the chance to delay their first payment by 90 days.
The coronavirus outbreak is accelerating so quickly that few analysts have projected its impact on the auto business, which had a better-than-expected February before the pandemic began to have a significant effect on the U.S. economy.
But Volvo Group said Monday that it is projecting “a considerable risk of a material financial impact.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.