When Hyundai Motor America CEO Jose Muñoz pitched a new pay program to dealers at a meeting in Las Vegas last fall, there were plenty of skeptics in the room. Muñoz, just six months into the job, was best known to the retailers in the MGM Grand ballroom as a former top executive at Nissan North America, where dealer relations were in shambles.
Introducing a variable-margin program, with the usual facility requirements and other hoops to jump through, was never going to be easy, especially from an executive known for aggressively pushing volume at Nissan. Hyundai eased the blow in Las Vegas with a sneak peek of the next-generation Tucson crossover and the new Santa Cruz lifestyle pickup.
Dealers said they left loving the product, but not so much the early outlines of the pay program, designed to elevate the brand's distribution network by improving customer satisfaction and modernizing stores.
In the months that followed, Muñoz listened to dealers and made an important pivot in the final version of the brand programs — called Accelerate at Hyundai and Keystone at Genesis — before they were presented this month.