Toys ‘R’ Us Helps Hyundai Sell Cars

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Toys “R” Us is helping Hyundai sell its new Sonata. It is one of the novel ways the bankrupt retailer is trying to generate money outside its traditional business.

Toys “R” Us has put a sponsorship section on toysrus.com, where outside companies can buy advertising. While most of the ads are for products that shoppers can buy at Toys “R” Us, the South Korean car manufacturer has decided it is a good way to get customers for one of its best selling cars. Other ads in the section include “Go Go Smartwheels,” a child’s toy, and Lego.

The Hyundai ads on the Toys “R” Us website offer big discounts on the Sonata, up to $6,750, and are targeted by geography. The one New Yorkers see takes them to the website of a local dealer.

One of the reasons Hyundai may have taken such a non-traditional route is the ugly drop in Sonata sales. The company sold 7,595 in October, down from 14,972 in the same period last year. For the first 10 months of the year, sales were down from 170,251 to 115,313. The Sonata is Hyundai’s second best selling vehicle.

The deal between the car manufacturer and toy retailer makes Toys “R” Us some money. Whether it helps Hyundai sell discounted cars is another matter. If it works, troubled Toys “R’ Us could become a car dealer.