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August 3, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

Hyundai, Kia plan to help laid-off buyers

HYUNDAI Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp yesterday said they plan to provide incentives to customers in South Korea if they lose their jobs.

The plan comes at a time when domestic auto sales are expected to fall in the coming months after the government ended a tax incentive designed to boost car sales.

Hyundai will pay 3 million won (US$2,454) to customers who buy cars on installment plans from this month to the end of this year if they lose their jobs within the first year of purchase.

Under the program, the maker of the Elantra compact sedan said in a statement that it would give the money only to buyers on installment plans who are fired from their firms after 120 days of the first installment payment. The program also applies to customers who bought Hyundai's cars in the past.

Separately, Kia, Hyundai's affiliate, will return installment payments of up to 5 million won to customers who buy its vehicles this month if they lose their jobs or go bankrupt within the first year of purchase.

Last month's local sales of Hyundai and Kia rose from a year ago but fell from the previous month as the government scrapped a cut in special consumption taxes at the end of June, a Hyundai official said.

In December, the government said it would lower special consumption taxes on passenger cars by 30 percent until the end of June.

Hyundai and other South Korea's auto makers are due to announce their July sales data today.

Hyundai has outperformed almost all major car makers in the United States, fuelled by a scheme launched in January that allows customers to return vehicles if they lose their jobs within the first year of purchase.


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