GM, Ford Copy Hyundai's Recession Incentive As automakers desperately try to entice consumers into showrooms, the South Korean automaker Hyundai seems to have found a successful formula. And now, some U.S. companies are copying it.

GM, Ford Copy Hyundai's Recession Incentive

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Now let's look at the latest effort to compete for car buying dollars here in the United States. Some U.S. automakers are trying a sales pitch pioneered by the South Korean automaker Hyundai. Sarah Cwiek reports from member station WDET.

SARAH CWIEK: Unidentified Man: (Foreign language spoken)

(SOUNDBITE OF COMMERCIAL)

CWIEK: Hyundai has shown a knack for sensing the mood of the American consumer. In recent months the company introduced programs that guarantee that if a car buyer loses their job, they can return the car for up to a year without damaging their credit. For a limited time, Hyundai will even make three months' worth of car payments. Jeff Stoltman, a marketing professor at Wayne State University, says there was a nimble response to the nose-diving economy.

JEFF STOLTMAN: This situation started unfolding pretty rapidly back - early in the fall. So they had looked ahead and pretty much saw how the cards were being laid on the table.

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CWIEK: At Glassman Automotive in suburban Detroit, customers bang a gong, when they buy a Hyundai. George Glassman has been selling them for almost 20 years and says the company's corporate culture thinks outside the box. He's not surprised that Ford and GM unveiled similar programs this week.

GEORGE GLASSMAN: Hyundai is absolutely leading the way.

CWIEK: For NPR News, I'm Sarah Cwiek in Detroit.

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