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Dean Evans
CMO, Hyundai
Steering the carmaker to new milestones

For lots of people, car shopping offers none of the fun or convenience of buying something online. It consumes a lot time, patience and energy to research a reliable dealership, test drive different models and tackle the ample paperwork that a purchase of this size requires. These are the so-called pain points Dean Evans, CMO at Hyundai Motor America since 2015, set out to alleviate. (Evans left the carmaker in mid-October.)

A smoother ride
“Car buying takes five-and-a-half hours, and consumers think that’s brutal,” says Evans, keenly aware of how Amazon has reshaped what the public has come to expect from the retail experience. So he led the development of Hyundai’s Shoppers Assurance Program, a four-pronged groundbreaking initiative that launched in early 2018. Not only would it make car buying easier, its very existence as a product would improve Hyundai’s reputation in the eyes of would-be shoppers. “We’re the only brand today that says anything about a shopping experience,” says Evans. “Everyone else says, ‘Go see our local dealer.’ By just saying, ‘Do you like our car? Do you like our incentives?’ it gets the customer in a better mindset.”

Changing lanes
Before launching the program, Evans and his team approached the company’s 830 nationwide dealers to gauge their interest. They explained that it would have four elements, among them a three-day return and exchange period and transparent pricing. It would feature a streamlined purchase experience that would would enable shoppers to fill out paperwork online on their own time, and take an industry-disrupting approach to test drives. Shoppers would no longer need to go to a lot to try out out a car; instead, they could schedule them via an app and then the dealership would deliver the car wherever the prospective owner wanted—home, for instance, or the office. To market the program, Hyundai created a TV spot starring actor Jason Bateman that debuted during last year’s Super Bowl, and that showcased the Palisade, a high-end SUV that will be available later this fall. “Dealers wanted SUV action, and we wanted a humorous, relatable ad that would get people talking,” Evans says. “Rolling the spot out with those elements was a good way to make an announcement about a new premium sales process and a new premium SUV.”

Pedal to the metal
With 700 Hyundai dealers taking part, the Shoppers Assurance Program has already yielded returns in the form of “hundreds of thousands of transactions,” says Evans, and cultivated dealers who are focused on bettering the customer experience. He points out that 75% of average shoppers report their last retail experience was not enjoyable. But “we’re getting 75% of people saying it was the best experience they’ve ever had,” he says. “We’re moving the needle ginoormously. Net net, we just changed what was three quarters hate to three quarters loved.” —Sara Ivry

Dean Evans
CMO, Hyundai
Steering the carmaker to new milestones

For lots of people, car shopping offers none of the fun or convenience of buying something online. It consumes a lot time, patience and energy to research a reliable dealership, test drive different models and tackle the ample paperwork that a purchase of this size requires. These are the so-called pain points Dean Evans, CMO at Hyundai Motor America since 2015, set out to alleviate. (Evans left the carmaker in mid-October.)

A smoother ride
“Car buying takes five-and-a-half hours, and consumers think that’s brutal,” says Evans, keenly aware of how Amazon has reshaped what the public has come to expect from the retail experience. So he led the development of Hyundai’s Shoppers Assurance Program, a four-pronged groundbreaking initiative that launched in early 2018. Not only would it make car buying easier, its very existence as a product would improve Hyundai’s reputation in the eyes of would-be shoppers. “We’re the only brand today that says anything about a shopping experience,” says Evans. “Everyone else says, ‘Go see our local dealer.’ By just saying, ‘Do you like our car? Do you like our incentives?’ it gets the customer in a better mindset.”