If you're one of the more than 800,000 furloughed U.S. federal government workers wondering how you're going to make ends meet until Congress stops acting like children, Hyundai is about to cut you a break on your lease and car payments.
In the latest development on how automakers are dealing with the shutdown, Hyundai recently announced that they will defer all auto loan and lease payments during the shutdown for current Hyundai owners who are furloughed as an addition to their Hyundai Assurance program. They say furloughed workers will get a relief from payments for as long as they are out of work, and if those employees want to buy a car in October, they will be offered a 90-day payment deferral.
Remember, Hyundai did the same thing way back during the Carpocalypse and the height of the recession when they offered payment assistance to owners who lost their jobs in the private and public sectors. That move inspired Ford and GM to do the same thing.
I say it's a kind move on Hyundai's part, and it's also a brilliant marketing move that helps establish them as a company that looks out for their buyers.
If you don't live in D.C. like I do, it may not be as readily apparent what the shutdown means for everyday people. I have a lot of friends who work for FEMA, the Defense Department, the State Department or other agencies who are now forced to go without pay during this mess. Others have to work without pay. They might get reimbursed whenever the shutdown ends, but in the meantime, they have bills same as you and me and they're trying to make the best of a deplorable situation they didn't ask for. It's more serious than just national parks closing down and an end to the "panda cam."
Meanwhile, in case you're curious, Congress and the president continue to get paid during the shutdown. Hyundai has not announced any incentives for them. I'll update the story if that changes.