Hyundai Equus taking things a step further with iPad app and service valet

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Hyundai is offering several perks to those who have bought an Equus luxury sedan. Two weeks after purchase, the customer is asked to have a follow-up visit at the dealership where he or she will be given a Wi-Fi-enabled iPad. This iPad will have a software application that will allow owners to schedule service appointments conveniently. Another perk is a vehicle valet service.

The car will be retrieved by a Hyundai representative from the owner's home or office and when the work is completed, delivers it back. Barry Ratzlaff, Hyundai's director of service operations, said that the iPad app will help set the scheduling of the appointments.

He explained that the company has heard from customers who were concerned with their time and how vehicle service is managed.

He said that the feedback it gets from customers help them determine how to improve processes as well as figure out "how it should work with Equus." Owners can also access a dedicated concierge phone line separate from Hyundai's national call center.

Ratzlaff said that the benefit of having a valet service for the vehicles is that the owners' time is valued. It avoids the situation wherein the owner gets stuck at a dealer facility while the vehicle is being worked on.

Although there are service loaners, he said that the valet "leapfrogs the whole scenario." The Equus will start selling this fall. The Hyundai iPad app is produced by Xtime Inc. of Redwood Shores, Calif., which specializes in software for auto service departments. The Xtime software will come in addition to the virtual owners' manual on the iPad.

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