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Hyundai Goes Groupon

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On: Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 4:26PM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Goes Groupon

Groupon has been one of the more interesting turns in the great Internet road of the past couple of years. If you don't know, the site offers big discounts through deal-of-the-day coupons. The service gets terrestrial by delivering localized coupons that can be redeemed not for Internet goods and services but for brick and mortar services in your local town or city. Each Groupon requires a certain number of people to sign up in order for the deal to go active, thereby guaranteeing a volume of customers to the retailer. If enough people don't sign up, no one cashes in.

While the service has been a blessing for businesses of all kinds, automakers have been one industry that hasn't made much use of it. Being that automakers can't really leverage the power of the Internet in making sales (you don't see automakers selling cars via Google Checkout and you can't send your car to a virtual garage for a tune-up), Groupon seems like a logical way to utilize the Internet in drumming up business at local dealerships.

Well, Hyundai became the first automaker to give it a whirl earlier this month, offering a Groupon for the Chicago area.

Unfortunately, Hyundai's offering wasn't anything crazy like "50 percent off a BRAND NEW CAR!!". Instead, it was a simple coupon for a $29 oil change/tire rotation/inspection, similar to something you might find in a physical newspaper or flyer.

However, the program has met with some success, and if that success continues, Hyundai may expand its Groupon offerings. According to a statement from the company, 1,323 people took advantage of the deal via 10 different dealerships. Hyundai's goal was to drum up business for its service departments, and now that people are more familiar with the garage at their local Hyundai dealers, Hyundai hopes that many will return for future work. If the strategy proves successful, Hyundai will likely experiment with additional coupons, perhaps even auto-sale deals.

Brian O'Malley, general manager of Hyundai Motor America's Central Region, explained in a press release: "Based on initial response, we can clearly call the pilot program a success in driving traffic. If the long-term results are as encouraging as the initial data and dealers are supportive, we'll certainly look at other ways to use Groupon in the future."


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PRESS RELEASE

HYUNDAI TAPS POWER OF GROUPON FOR SERVICE LEADS

First-ever Groupon Promotion for an Automaker Nets More Than 1,300 Customers in Chicago Trial

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 19, 2011 – Continuing to explore new and innovative ways to connect drivers and dealerships, 1,323 shoppers took advantage of Hyundai's weekend-long Groupon promotion for a $29 oil change, inspection and tire rotation offered by 10 Chicago-area Hyundai dealers. Chicago-based Groupon uses collective buying power to develop daily deals on a wide range of consumer items in more than 500 markets around the world. This was the first-ever promotion by an automaker.

"We're always looking for innovative ways to build dealers' service business. Our Central Region team and a number of Chicago dealers recognized the power of Groupon to offer a compelling deal and generate new service leads," said Brian O'Malley, general manager of Hyundai Motor America's Central Region. "Based on initial response, we can clearly call the pilot program a success in driving traffic. If the long-term results are as encouraging as the initial data and dealers are supportive, we'll certainly look at other ways to use Groupon in the future."

The first-of-its-kind promotion by an automaker was piloted to test the level of acceptance, gauge interest from both Hyundai owners and non-Hyundai owners, and drive ongoing business to Hyundai service centers. The 10 dealerships participating in the trial averaged more than 130 new service customer leads each. As coupons are redeemed and appointments scheduled, Hyundai will track these customers to determine the promotion's long-term benefit and share the results with Hyundai dealer organizations as a case study on innovative tactics to build business.

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