How Hyundai Regained Car Buyers' Trust

Finbarr O'Neill, who led Hyundai through its U.S. turnaround, discusses the car maker's strategic comeback. He's now president of J.D. Power and Associates and he spoke with Bryan Elliot for 'Behind the Brand.'

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In the late 1990's Hyundai was facing a crisis. Sales and customer satisfaction were at all-time lows. With rebates proving ineffective, a new sales strategy had to be implemented, and fast. CEO Finbarr O'Neill had to fight internal critics who claimed his plan would bankrupt the company. O'Neill knew Hyundai had to rebuild the consumer trust in its product, and its brand. He did this by offering a warranty unmatched by any other manufacturer. The 10-year warranty did two things, it showed customers Hyundai's confidence in the quality of their product and removed the risk involved in purchasing a new car. When there are always people telling you something can't be done, O'Neill says success in business is determined by who is willing to take and manage risk.


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