Hyundai Motor America, the U.S. unit of South Korea’s largest automaker, has launched a live-streaming show ‘Hyundai Showroom Live’ in which potential buyers visit to do pre-sales research on cars and ask questions to dealers live, becoming the first car brand in the country to market cars online.
According to Hyundai Motor on Monday, the company will stream live broadcastings three days a week from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the U.S. to introduce its vehicles to consumers after launching its first video chat service last Tuesday (local time).
The interactive live video show will provide customers chances to learn more about Hyundai Motor’s vehicles without leaving their homes. They can freely ask questions to agents through the chat program. Then anyone who decides to buy a car he or she has reviewed through the show can proceed with purchase through a program called Hyundai Shopper Assurance in the U.S.
Under the Shopper Assurance program, Hyundai Motor delivers a test-drive vehicle to any location of customers’ choosing if they want to conduct a test drive and provides a full return within three days to a customer who is not satisfied with the purchase, contingent upon a dealer inspection and the vehicle having fewer than 300 miles (483 kilometers) since the purchase or lease date.
The launch of live broadcasting auto show online follows after Hyundai Motor opened a digital showroom on Amazon.com, the world’s largest e-commerce platform, to allow customers to compare pricing and reviews, book a test drive and find the nearest dealer to buy the car.
But Hyundai Motor’s online marketing would be available to only U.S. consumers for a while. On its home turf, Hyundai Motor is facing strong opposition from its unionized workers protesting against any online sales activities for the reason that it would threaten dealers’ jobs, despite the fact that the Korean government last March revised the law to allow TV home shopping firms to sell Korean vehicles.
“The online vehicle market is getting bigger in the world, but Korean carmakers can’t even try to sell their cars online (due to the protest from unions),” according to an industry source.
By Moon Ji-woong and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]