By Stephen Markley on March 18, 2009
Mimicking the success of Hyundai’s Assurance program, several Florida AutoNation dealerships are offering to cover car payments for customers who lose their jobs, no matter what brand of car they bought.
AutoNation is the nation’s largest dealership chain, with 313 new-vehicle dealerships in 15 states. The program launched in 33 dealerships in south Florida and may soon go nationwide, according to president Mike Maroone. In it, AutoNation will cover up to six months of car payments on a new or used vehicle for any customer who loses his or her job due to involuntary termination. This is different from Hyundai’s Assurance program, which offers to buy back the vehicle at no cost to the buyer.
Car sales hit a 27-year low in January and February, and Maroone said he sees this as a combination of two factors: credit availability and consumer confidence. Payment Protection is one way AutoNation hopes to increase confidence. According to AutoNation’s website, it sells almost every major brand, including Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Porsche, Saturn, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
This type of assurance program seems to be catching on, so we want to know if anyone out there has seen any local, non-Hyundai dealers with similar offers. Tell us about the deals you’ve seen in the comments section below.