The Future is ‘Phygital’: Hyundai GPS a year after

The daily drive has radically changed for us all—most likely for good. While that nasty virus is still in the air, plans on buying a new car may remain in the back burner, but how about the one that’s been stuck in your garage for months on end? It deserves to be in tiptop shape should emergencies arise.

So, when was the last time you took it out for a spin? Or for regular Preventive Maintenance Service? For Hyundai car owners, it may not be that long ago.

Challenged to recover losses and to ensure business continuity for the sake of over 500 employees and their employees, plus the thousands employed at Hyundai dealerships across the country, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) crafted another industry first—the Hyundai Guidelines for Protection and Safety (GPS).

Conceived and implemented at the height of the lockdowns in a record three months in May last year, GPS is a comprehensive set of procedures and programs that aim to safeguard the well-being of HARI employees, business partners, and customers and so restore consumer confidence and win back customers through alternative channels.

“We had to take care of the physical and mental well-being our own, first of all, to ensure that they are ready to adapt and serve customers under the new working conditions. We can’t give customers what we don’t have,” affirmed HARI president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. “And as we struggle to get back on our feet, we enable our customers to get back on theirs. This is HARI for you in the New Normal and beyond.”

People may not be on the road as much as before, but HARI has given a new face to the Filipinos’ mobility experience: PHYGITAL. The word, which has been coined in business circles since the height of the pandemic, signifies the marrying of physical stores with digital.

With GPS as the overarching strategy for delivering worry-free car ownership, HARI developed its twin programs for Sales and After Sales to reassure customers that Hyundai is committed to provide a safe, effortless, comfortable, connected, and truly personalized driving experience in the New Normal.

Hyundai H.O.M.E. Page (Hyundai Online Market Experience) is HARI’s pioneering online selling platform that provides a comprehensive and seamless buying experience, from vehicle selection to bank approval to delivery, all from the comfort of home.

Since June last year, HOME has been the go-to car purchasing platform for some 200,000 customers.

Hyundai ARMOR (Active Response, Management, Operations, and Resumption) Service Program is the reworked “Right Here, Right Care” After Sales customer promise, covering the entire vehicle maintenance process, observing strict health protocols at the service workshops and minimizing face-to-face contact through online booking via [email protected], consultation with technical experts through the dealerships, and the ordering of genuine parts through Hyundai Unified Buys (HUB).

For the past year since its launch, ARMOR has served over 154,000 customers, and counting.

Phygital has become the way of life of thousands of Filipinos. But HARI had been gaining traction in the digital realm as early as 2018. To widen its reach from the traditional dealerships to high-traffic locations, it launched the new retail experience called “i-space” and the first Hyundai City Store in Cebu. These trendy lifestyle spaces located in high-traffic areas, such as malls, offer walk-in customers the convenience of checking out their preferred models online at their leisure in a comfortable and very welcoming and personalized environment. By 2019, HARI had launched the Hyundai store in Lazada, generating buzz among Netizens who started buying the Accent and Reina online.

“There’s no turning back. Phygital is the future of our industry. We have discovered a way of providing customers Better Journeys and they are loving it,” concluded Ms. Agudo.

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