• VW offers $500 bonus for certain trade-ins
  • Twitter announcement leads to back-and-forth exchange with Hyundai
  • Offer valid through July 2

Volkswagen is offering drivers of competing brands a $500 bonus when they trade in their vehicle for a new VW. The company announced the deal on Twitter, prompting a response from Hyundai, one of the brands included in the limited-time deal.

Owners of model year 2004 or later Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai vehicles get the $500 bonus toward the purchase or lease of any new 2012 or 2013 Volkswagen model. The deal, which VW calls its $500 Trade-Up Special, is available now through July 2.

Volkswagen announced the special offer on Twitter, tagging the included manufacturers to be sure that those brands' Twitter followers would see the message in their feeds. That prompted a response from Hyundai, which tweeted back: "@VW Thanks for the mention! Not sure the most loyal owners in the industry can be swayed so easily though!"

Indeed, Hyundai owners are a loyal lot. Along with sister brand Kia, Hyundai consistently rates among the top brands for customer loyalty. Two firms that research brand loyalty, Kelly Blue Book and Experian, have rated Hyundai in the top five brands in recent studies. By comparison, Volkswagen has not recently been effective at bringing previous owners back for another vehicle.

But VW thinks a drive in one of its vehicles can sway those who own a vehicle from one of the Japanese and Korean brands. The firm volleyed back at Hyundai with another tweet: "@Hyundai We shall see! After all, there's nothing like driving a VW."

Perhaps a test drive and the lure of $500 will be enough to convince some drivers to make the switch. Several Volkswagen models have recently drawn praise from the automotive media, including AutoTrader.com. But the competition is certainly fierce. Nissan, Kia and Hyundai are brands that currently offer exceptional value, while Honda and Toyota consistently rank high not just in loyalty, but also in quality and reliability.

The $500 Trade-Up Special is a national offer that can be combined with other deals. Volkswagen dealers can provide further details.

What it means to you: VW's $500 Trade-Up Special means a bonus for Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Honda and Toyota owners who are inclined to trade in for a 2012 or 2013 VW, either as a purchase or a lease.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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