Hyundai Boasts New Warranty

Hyundai Motor America plans to spend an estimated $25 million to support a six-week “Hyundai Advantage” warranty campaign, breaking today.
Created by Bates USA West, Irvine, Calif., two TV spots show the car maker’s 1999 Tiburon model and describe “America’s best warranty.” The commercials explain that all 1999 Hyundai models are backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance for five years.
Frank Ferrara, acting vice president of the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based automaker, said the current campaign had to overcome two consumer perceptions: that Hyundais are both a financial risk and a social risk. Some people believe “it’s not cool to own a Hyundai,” he said.
“In order to change the image,” said Ferrara, “we decided to put our money where our mouth is. Improving the warranty would change the way people viewed Hyundai.”
The spots, airing on national network and cable stations through mid-December, maintain the car maker’s current tagline, “Driving is believing,” introduced last year by Bates. The commercials are supported by national print, outdoor and radio executions.
The warranty campaign is set up as a “platform to get people thinking about Hyundai,” Ferrara said. Bates will follow the effort with ads for the ’99 Sonata. That campaign will break sometime after Christmas and focus on the model’s safety features, Ferrara said.
Ferrara, who also fills the role as vice president of parts at Hyundai, currently remains acting vice president of marketing as the company searches to fill the post. Former Acura vice president of sales Robert Cosmai joined Hyundai last month as vice president of sales.
Hyundai’s sales through September 1998 dropped 8 percent compared to the same period last year.