In the first quarter of this year the Hyundai Retail Parts distribution centre Gauteng have moved to keep 185 Hyundais on the road through their Save-A-Car campaign. It is part of their customer retention drive when damaged vehicles become borderline write-off vehicles to avoid total loss of ownership and unnecessary salvage situations.

The Hyundai retail parts centre is based in Apex Industrial, Benoni and they have just achieved a best year ever in keeping accident damaged vehicles on the road. Clifford Nathaniel, RPDC regional manager, comes with a long history and understanding of the parts supply side of the business and is capably backed-up by Thomas Ince, as well as a huge professional team.

With vehicle damage write-offs being carried out, in many cases at approximately 46%, for many damaged cars this value is halfway between the retail price for selling and the trade-in valuation. “Our Hyundai drivers are sometimes placed in a major dilemma because not all of them are able to purchase a new vehicle. It’s at this time that we engage in a one-off negotiation, often with an approved Hyundai body shop, to create a special parts basket price costing to keep the vehicle on the road. It is also to make sure that the Hyundai owner gets top service from us and that they remain on the road. One staggering statistic from a vehicle write-off situation is that close to 90% of vehicle owners never buy the same brand of car again. That’s a lot of time and money wasted on building a brand loyalty concept only to be sent to the scrap heap and to lose a client,” said Clifford.

“It is clear to us at Hyundai Automotive that while insurers are often not concerned about this area of salvage, in the long run it discriminates against our brand and our philosophy of keeping clients happy throughout their entire vehicle ownership profile. The programme moves to replace with genuine parts rather than repair as the parts are already galvanised and carry a full warranty. If you begin to strip back an item, quality and safety can be compromised with this carefully designed part. The team are also working hard at matching prices with original compared to alternate parts.”

Logistics are outsourced to keep to the quickest turnaround on orders placed. The off-the-shelf pick rate is at 94% with only an odd item being flown in from overseas. If this happens, the waiting time is 14 days, ex Korea.

One problem according to Hyundai right now, is that assessments that are being made often require a host of extra parts. This occurs in many cases after the initial parts order is placed. It requires double the work to complete the supply of the outstanding extra parts and causes yet more time lost to vehicle owners who are off the road for longer than expected.

The team feel that much could be done to eliminate this repair hassle with correct estimating and ordering. In the final feeling about the Save-A-Car initiative from Hyundai, Clifford went on to say that they have achieved what they set out to do this year with a huge number of Hyundai drivers who suffered major collision damage by being put back on the road. “With this initiative campaign it’s all about customer retention and good service at the end of the day,” he concluded.