Hyundai Motor America became the first automaker to try and cash in on the Groupon craze by offering a cut-rate service deal through 10 of its dealers in the Chicago area.
Dealers say the promotion brought new customers to their dealerships. But it was a money loser. After Groupon collected its cut, dealers received revenue of only $14.50 for services they usually charge customers $79 for. And the Groupon customers bought few extra services.
In the April promotion, dealers offered a $29 coupon for an oil change, tire rotation, inspection and car wash with an advertised value of $79. Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said that about half of the 1,389 customers who participated in the deal owned competitive makes and had not visited a Hyundai dealership before.
He said Hyundai has no plans to repeat the Groupon offer.