Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Buying a car can help you pay debt!

I was taken aback by a recent Hyundai commercial. A young man in his late twenties was driving one of the SUVs like the 2008 Hyundai Tucson with the salesperson in the back. (I cannot tell one SUV from another. To me, they all look the same--big!) The young man was enjoying his test drive as the salesperson was highlighting the vehicle's features. One of the last points made by the sales guy was the Hyundai model was less than another brand's comparable and along with the $2,000 cash back, the young man could pay down his debts.

Okay, you are telling a guy to buy a large, expensive SUV so he can pay down credit card debt? Nothing ringing a bell here? I know price point is part of a sales pitch for a car. It typically is price point and features (including safety ratings) that buyers pay attention to. However, the commercial was jarring because if a young man is debt, he is likely financing the SUV, not buying it outright. That means the "cash back" is a gimmick and the buyer goes further into debt, not paying down debt as the salesperson (and commercial) would have you believe.

I know that commercials are disingenuous and want to sell you something thereby adding to the company's bottom line. But in this time of credit crunches, tight finances and concerns about the markets, telling people to buy a new car to save some money is ridiculous. And in this case, save money as you drive a gas-guzzling vehicle--doubly disingenuous. I have only seen the commercial once so maybe Hyundai pulled it, but I was appalled nonetheless.

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