LOS ANGELES — Hyundai is doing its biggest lease deal ever in a bid to attract customers to the $33,000 Genesis sedan.
Buyers can lease the V-6 model, which went on sale in June, for $399 per month for 24 months with $2,199 due at lease signing. Hyundai expects the V-6 to account for about 80 percent of the sales for the new luxury car.
"We're excited," says Bill Wallace, owner of Wallace Hyundai in Stuart, Fla. "It's the right message with the right car."
The deal is the first aggressive lease program offered by Hyundai Motor Finance Co., says John Krafcik, vice president of product planning at Hyundai Motor America. The Genesis is the first Hyundai aimed at upscale buyers, who tend to lease rather than buy.
Krafcik says he expects leasing to represent about half of Genesis sales. He says Hyundai's lease penetration has been 10 to 12 percent.
A strong residual value from Automotive Lease Guide helped cut the cost of leasing.
The Santa Barbara, Calif., company, which sets residual standards for the industry, estimates that a 2009 Genesis will be worth 50 percent of its original sticker price after 36 months.
"That is definitely a big win for Hyundai," says Jim Clark, editorial director at Automotive Lease Guide.
Wallace, who also sells Cadillacs and Lincolns, says the Genesis lease deal is $100 to $150 less per month than Cadillac now offers on the CTS, which Hyundai says is a prime competitor.
Adds Don Hicks, a Hyundai dealer in Aurora, Colo.: "If $399 gets them in the door and they don't buy that car, something's wrong."
The V-6 lease deal runs through July. The V-8 version goes on sale in about a month.