GM Total Confidence vs Ford Advantage vs Hyundai Assurance
Something about the current race for the best recession-proof, throw caution to the wind, go out and buy a new car with our guarantee program feels very much like the $99 all included (or so you thought) cell-phone plan competition from last year. Not to say that the consumer isn’t getting significant benefit, just that everyone seems to be jumping on board and the fine print is important. Each payment protection program offers similar protections and allowances but in different flavors. Lets take a look at each one:
GM Total Confidence
General Motors is offering 24 months of both loan and lease protection, during which, if you lose your job, the company will make up to 9 payments at a maximum payoff of $500 per month. A 5 year/100,000 mile (whichever comes first) transferable powertrain limited warranty comes standard along with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation. You also get 1 free year of the OnStar ‘Safety and Security’ Package with Automatic Crash Response. Finally, a ‘Vehicle Value Protection’ is now in force which helps keep the value of your car from tanking during the first two years of ownership (if you opt to purchase a new GM vehicle). Basically, you get negative equity assistance if your outstanding loan balance is more than book value (based on NADA Clean Retail Value) when you go for a trade-in.
Ford Advantage Plan
Ford will offer up to 12 payments with a max of $700 per month on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if the customer loses his/her income. They are also offering 0% financing on select models through Ford Motor Credit. If you still aren’t convinced and need to feel warm and fuzzy, they are creating a charity “element” as part of this plan to help local organizations. The details of this are pretty hazy at this point.
Hyundai Assurance Program
Hyundai is offering their program on all new vehicles, either financed or leased, but from a different angle. You get 12 months of complimentary coverage which provides up to $7,500 in negative equity insurance and the ability to return the vehicle nice and clean. This basically means that if you are fired, experience a physical disability, lose your driver’s license due to medical issues, are transferred internationally, experience bankruptcy or are the victim of an accidental death you can file a request for benefit coverage. (If you are no longer living, this may be a task best performed by someone else.) You must have made at least 2 payments and be current to apply. If accepted, you drop off your ride at the dealer, pay any additional balances above the $7,500 benefit and wipe your hands clean. Smooth…
So, what does this all mean? Let’s explore this further by making it even more confusing. With Ford you get 0% percent financing through June 1st, while Hyundai and GM just offer some good wholesome deals. Hyundai gives up $7,500 in negative equity protection while GM offers situation specific coverage with Ford looking the other way. With Hyundai you can give your ride back, while GM and Ford want you to stick it out. GM is willing to offer 9 payments up to $500 a month while Ford antes 12 months of payments up to $700. For extended powertrain warranties, GM is providing 5 yr/100,000 mile coverage compared with Hyundai’s 10yr/100,000 mile guarantee and Ford’s 5yr/60,000 mile promise. But even though Hyundai has “America’s Best Warranty” both GM and Ford now have access to Obama’s new “Warranty Commitment Program” that backs up the manufacturer’s obligations with the full force and might of US tax payer dollars. Advantage: Toyota — for not playing this game (yet!)