Incentives have become a major part of the automotive game, and Hyundai Motor America has proven to be a very skillful player when it comes to making both strategic and tactical moves. It's just launched an extension of the existing Hyundai Assurance program aimed at pushing what John Krafcik, CEO and president of Hyundai Motor America, contends are up to 40 percent of potential new-vehicle buyers who remain concerned with high and rising fuel costs off of the sidelines and into the showroom by ensuring them year's worth of gasoline at bargain prices. Dubbed "Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock," the program guarantees purchasers or lessees of any new Hyundai except a base Accent and Genesis models 12 months -- or more specifically 12,000 miles -- worth of regular unleaded gasoline at the bargain price of just $1.49 per gallon. It will also cover mid-grade and Premium fuels at $1.64 and $1.79, respectively.
Gasoline currently averages $2.64 a gallon and is expected to hit $2.70 in July as demand rises in conjunction with the peak vacation time. Given projections -- and for many of us, the reality -- of $3.00-plus pricing, Hyundai believes the cost benefits that Assurance Gas Lock provides are strong enough to have a tangible impact on prospective customers. Particularly for those who can use its leveraging effect in concert with the recently passed Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program whose "Cash-for-Clunkers" incentives can net $3,500-$4,500 in credits on gas-guzzling trade-ins.
Enrolling in Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock, requires a customer to register any valid VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discovery card at hyundai.pricelock.com. In return, they'll receive a Hyundai Assurance card that will be honored at 93 percent of all major-branded gas stations across the country. Any purchases up to the 12,000-mile maximum designated quantity will then be billed at the stipulated $1.49/$1.64/$1.79 valuations with Hyundai directly paying the remaining balances. Those who participate in the Gas Lock program will have to forego the first $1,000 in any other available Hyundai cash incentives. However, if the upward trending of gasoline prices continues -- or even stabilizes -- that would still seem to be a pretty well-calculated gamble.