Hyundai Offering Car Rental Service In Canada
Pilot project described as a national first for automaker industry
In what’s been described as a Canadian first, Hyundai Canada announced it intends to offer incentives for customers to rent vehicles from the company on a short-term basis. The pilot project, dubbed Hyundai for Hire, is slated to launch in March at select dealerships across the country.
It’s designed to attract fickle customers hesitant to commit to owning a vehicle, but need access to one from time to time. Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. President and CEO Don Romano said that while pricing hasn’t been announced, the service will be available at rates lower than what’s being offered by car rental agency. Not having to purchase a fleet gives Hyundai a great cost advantage.
“We don’t have that overhead,” said Romano at the trade show. “We make the cars.”
Insurance and maintenance will be built into the rates. The only outside cost to a customer will be fuel. That’s one of many amenities of the incentive Hyundai believes will draw students, immigrants and potential buyers to the service, which will include a loyalty program with points redeemable towards a Hyundai purchase.
Initially, Hyundai was thinking of a subscription program but decided against it when it considered that depreciation of a vehicle in a long-term subscription would devalue the sale of a model being used. Romano said they also factored in the hassles of adjusting to a new vehicle if a customer decides to swap for another model. Going the rental route is a way for Hyundai to offer infrequent users more choice of what’s out there.
“We’re just bringing new people in to get to know the Hyundai family and portfolio and it just gives them an option,” said Romano.
More Car Dealers Pondering Rental Services
While Hyndai for Hire is being hailed as the first time an automaker with a Canadian division has launched such an initiative, manufacturers from other countries have been toying with the concept for the last couple of years. In the U.S., automakers from Audi to Volvo have been focusing on renting out its higher-end models on a subscription basis. Most automakers like BMW, Daimler and GM tried using their vehicles for car-sharing endeavours for a few years, but most of them wound up discontinuing their operations in 2019.
Still, with vehicle ownership on a downswing, and major car rental companies are showing record profits, it’s no wonder why dealerships continue to explore retail rental services. It’s an opportunity to take advantage of a market that’s partly responsible for automakers losing potential business.
Bluebird luckily has the solution for dealerships offering courtesy transportation services or retail rentals. LoanerTrack is built to handle loaner contracts issued by warranty or recalls. Thanks to its integration with major dealer management systems, it gives dealers the flexibility in the same software they’re used to. LoanerTrack also helps dealerships split charges back to the customer for fuel, tolls or damages. Get in touch with the Bluebird team today to learn more about LoanerTrack and our full suite of auto rental software solutions.