In The New York Times Magazine: Hyundai Assurance

Posted by Rob Walker on March 21, 2009
Posted Under: Consumed

What’s driving this deal?
An automaker offers reassurance — and, perhaps more important, commiseration.

This week in Consumed, a look at Hyundai’s Assurance program — which promises to let you return a newly bought car if you get laid off.

As of early March, no Hyundai buyer had yet returned a vehicle bought under the Assurance umbrella. This raises the intriguing point about what sort of consumer is being reassured. Probably anybody who is really afraid of losing a job simply isn’t going to buy a car right now. But somebody whose insecurity is more abstract, who perhaps simply needs a rationale for a big-ticket purchase at a moment when the headlines are full of doom — that’s different.

Read the column in the March 22, 2009, issue of The New York Times Magazine, or here.

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