DETROIT -- As interest rates rise and many captives and their automaker parents dial back on auto loan and lease subvention, Hyundai Motor America is focusing on delivering the best customer experience rather than the lowest price, said Dean Evans, the brand's chief marketing officer.
"You've got to have something in front of them besides a big, fat rebate," Evans told Automotive News. Customers "remember us because we're this good brand. They don't remember us because we have the best warranty and the lowest price."
As subvention becomes more expensive, Hyundai is embracing a different business model, he said.
"I'm trying to walk away from the lowest offer," said Evans. "I'm trying to find other value and a better experience in a brand that people love more and want to pay more money for. Then when harder times come and interest rates are higher and floorplan is going up, we're still hopefully selling cars and our retailers are doing better because we have more throughput and better brand strength through this cycle."
Hyundai seeks to improve its customer experience through its Shopper Assurance program, which puts much of the car-buying process online, shows market-based pricing online, allows for flexible test drives and offers a three-day exchange or refund on vehicles.