Hyundai dealerships will buy car back if owner loses job

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Buyers don't lack money, they lack confidence

TEMPE - Car sales in the United States took a major hit in 2008 with some automakers suffering drops of more than 50%.

3TV takes a look at what one Valley dealership is doing to prevent their sales from screeching to a halt in 2009.

On average, Valley dealerships have seen a third of their sales disappear in the last year but some say potential buyers do not really lack cash, they lack confidence.

When it comes to making a deal, it is always about the details and after about 3 months of deliberation, Katrina Craven decided, " I just wanted a new car, needed it, and figured out my finances were good enough for me to do it."

But valley-wide customers like Craven are far fewer these days. Jeremy Day, who works at Hyundai of Tempe, explains, "They're not coming out to look as much. Our traffic counts are down." He says he doesn't think people are worried about buying. They are worried about paying the note if their paycheck is gone.

Day explains, "If you lose your job, involuntary unemployment is the phrase they use, during the next 12 months, they're guaranteeing to buy back your vehicle.

It is a creative way to reassure and ride out the rough times, Day says. So 3TV delved into the details. It is basically an insurance policy that applies to new cars.An owner has to qualify for unemployment and the protection lasts for a year after purchase. It covers up to $7,500 of negative equity, since new cars lose value the fastest and the owner has to have made at least two payments.

"Just one more way to reassure you that it's not a bad time," Day explains. "It's actually a great time to buy a car."

But if times are not so great, the buy-back has no negative effect on your credit. For Craven, that means car-buying with confidence because even with two jobs, you never know. She admits, " It's reassuring when you're doing all this right now in a time like this, that if something does go wrong, you can fix it."