Hyundai’s Military Discount

I was on-line shopping for a Hyundai recently when I discovered they offer a $500 discount to members of the military.

Is it possible to question that practice without being labeled ungrateful and un-American? I assume it’s meant as a special “thank you” for those people whose service enables us to exercise civil liberties and enjoy our way of life.

But I’ve always felt that argument was incomplete not just because it exonerates the military from its occasional abuses of power, but because it slights the admittedly more subtle, but equally important contributions some civilian members of society make to our security.

More specifically, why privilege members of the military over my friend that’s taught in a South Central Los Angeles middle school for twenty four years, or my friend that runs a homeless shelter in L.A., or my friend that served as a Peace Corp volunteer for three years in West Africa?

Granted, they haven’t risked their lives in the exact same way, but haven’t they contributed to our security in tangible, powerful, and in the end, equally meaningful ways?

Hyundai is receiving increasing acclaim as the “most improved” car maker. I’m going to wait for them to introduce the educators’, non-profit NGO, and Peace Corp $500 discount before I jump on their bandwagon.

15 thoughts on “Hyundai’s Military Discount

  1. As someone who regularly flashes her military ID for discounts on goods and services, I was surprised to hear that Hyundai is so generous to service members. You may be surprised to hear that most companies who offer these kinds of discounts don’t advertise them whatsoever! One example: after shopping at Lowe’s for years, a friend recently tipped us off to their discount program-when we asked a store sales associate about it, she informed us that employees are not supposed to offer that information to customers unless specifically asked. I appreciate a 10% break, but I have to wonder how special that “thank you” is when we have to solicit it.

  2. I FEEL THAT THE the educators’, non-profit NGO, and Peace Corp members should get the same discount just a soon as they show they willing to be killed in support of the US constitution and willing to go at a minutes notice to a land that is full of people that don’t like them simply because the are American. And by the way as soon as the educators’, non-profit NGO, and Peace Corp make you sign a contract that you cannot legally break without going to jail or ending up with a federal felony coviction for not showing up to be shot at.

  3. Mr Byrnes,

    It is the sacrifices given by those who served past or present that offer the chance for your friends and colleges to teach, write, and or belittle we members of the military. While the mission today may be different from that of which you may have grown up with or read in history books. We serving have that common bond dating back to those that gave their life and or lives for the freedoms and liberties that we share today. So if a South Korean auto maker wants to give the underpaid members of the military a small discount… so be it.

  4. All I can say is …. wow…. for someone who is hinting at the fact that our U.S. military is receiving some sort of “special treatment”. I feel that they deserve a lot more than that. They continously risk their lives and are separated from their family and friends at a moments notice. I have friends who have been shot at on more than one occasion, in the same day, multiple days, all in a single tour over in Afghanistan or Iraq. Now, those other organizations and teachers do contribute in their own way, but until I see teachers constantly having their blood shed for their country, I’ll disagree with your comment.

    • Josh, You can see from previous comments that others feel similarly to you. I respect your point of view that members of the military should get more credit because they risk their lives. I don’t think that assigning credit for positive contributions to our democracy should be a zero-sum game. One question your position leaves me with is in what other ways should we compensate people who volunteer for the military and find themselves in life and death situations? Ron

  5. It’s a marketing tool. If Hyundai felt that they could make money by giving a discount to people who own hot dog stands, they would do so. Young members of the military (of which I used to be) tend to be young, single and flush with cash (for their age). Anything you can do to help them part with that cash is good business for said company. Something else to take into consideration. Most young members of the military do not have the credit score to qualify for Hyundai’s other $500 bonus cash program for those with good credit. I’m sure your friend and many others can get that. In short, for better or for worse, most of these discount programs are not meant as a ‘thank you’, they are meant to make money. You could argue that it’s exploiting young people who probably should not be buying a new car in the first place. This same kind of thing goes to college students and recent graduates. Hyundai actually has a recent graduate program right now as well.

  6. I guess you just don’t know that many groups of people receive discounts because of the association they have.. Some examples are seniors, teachers, students, fire, police, AAA members, non-profit organizations. various companies employee programs, special discounts or special sales to credit card holders. If you would take the time to look you will see that the Peace Corps has specific discount programs and so do other volunteers The list goes on and on if you care to research available discounts.

    Leanne is correct. Military discounts are usually not advertised like AAA and other membership discount programs.

    Tom is correct too, just a marketing tool that can work out for the company and the person that makes the purchase. The company separates cash from somebody to meet marketing goals. Hopefully the military member will build a good credit rating and can afford the loan and insurance payments.

    I am glad that some companies try to take care of our young men and women of the military. Too bad those companies that offer the discount don’t advertise it more openly.

  7. Ron, really you are being quite un-american, not for questioning why more people who do honerable deeds of service dont recieve discounts for their service, but rather for whining about it. Why when someone gets a good deal and you don’t do you have to complain about their good fortune? I relize you are in fact the most important person in the universe, you would probably consider yourself a God if such a thing existed, so I can see how you would have the right, no duty to rain on the persons parade who is getting a bit of a good deal handed their way. Thank you, your vision is inspiring. Also I like your great point about how being in the military prohibits you from voulinteering for any service organization, wait you didn’t say that but your clear and pointed assumption was appreciated none the less. As a group servicemembers are amoung the most active in their communities, that is when they arent spending countless days away from their families trying to make someones life halfway around the world just a little better. But I guess you’re right, why give them a discount, I mean they should feel lucky to even have a job right? Maybee hyundai could be more progressive and give everyone who buys $500 in carbon credits or something great like that, maybee 500 hugs for free! Oh and by the way South Korea, where Hyundai is from, just happens to be protected by US servicemembers, something to consider.

  8. Ron: currently serving in the military (and have been on several deployments to combat zones since 9/11/2001). I respect your comments but you are comparing apples to oranges when drawing comparisons of military service to service of teachers/ NGO members/ civil servants. The potential of loss of life or permanent injury is far greater to the military svc member than the personnel you’ve mentioned. Also, many car manufacturers do offer discounts to teachers, civil service workers (police, fire department, etc)…sometimes you just have to ask. If you’d like the military discount, please proceed to your local military recruiter and enlist your services to our nation. We are looking for good men and women to help our armed forces and our nation.

    • Don,
      Thanks for the thoughtful response to my post. You’re unquestionably right regarding potential loss of life or permanent injury, but I guess I didn’t convey my main point—that teachers and others contributions to maintaining a vibrant democracy deserve equal recognition—as clearly or convincingly as I might have. Others serving in the military have made the same point although not always as cleverly. Truth be told, I don’t know how to balance my grave concern for unchecked military power with respectful appreciation for individuals that risk life and limb to serve. The most recent issue that’s reminded me of this dilemma is the President’s call for employers to specifically hire vets. I know Vet’s suffer a higher unemployment rate and often struggle mightily to reintegrate, but I guess I’ll just pose it to you as a question. Are there any limits to what merchants, employers, the government should do for veterans of military service? I anticipate some of your colleagues criticizing me for posing the question.

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  10. Interesting thoughts. I’m not sure if your issue is with military receiving the discount (you seem to have some concerns regarding the military) or with others not (although other posters indicate that in fact they do). I think this would be a great topic to delve into deeper but here’s my brief thoughts on why military employment is different to others (not saying each of these points don’t apply to other professions but collectively I think is rarer). It sounds cliche but military employment is so much more than just a job. There are very few professions which dictate a serving member and their family’s life as much as the military. The threat of or actual injury or loss of life is a very real concern but there is so much more that military families experience: moving every few years and not having a say where they live, living hundred or thousands of miles away from the traditional support network of extended family, children attending multiple schools during their education, spouses who find it difficult to maintain a career or often times even find employment, babies six months old before they meet their dad and mothers who have spent those months wondering if they ever will, serving members missing family milestone after family milestone, always having to say goodbye as you uproot and move again, vacations cancelled because the military needs you; and if they can’t put up with all of this it’s not as easy as saying “I’m done” and moving on. It sounds emotive but I think that’s precisely the point. As for govt programs that help vets. Well, I come from a country where the government gives a hand up to low income families and the unemployed to try and level the playing field. I wish they’d do the same for our vets.

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