Thursday, March 31, 2011

A good checklist.

Here are a few things to consider before and during your quest for a new set of wheels.

1. Before you head off to Eckert Hyundai make a list of things you must have in or on your new car. Think about things such as color, trim, edition, engine power, wheels, etc. How high end are you willing to go? And make a list of things you could potentially live without. OK, now I know that you don't want to live without anything, BUT, if you don't have to have a sunroof, write that. It will help narrow your choice.

2. Call the Sales Manager and make sure they have the car you want, so you can test drive it and get the name of who he considers the best salesman.

3. Make your own photocopies, it will save you some time. Think drivers license, insurance, any documents you might want (marriage license, death certificate, proof of military involvement, diploma - hey, you can get a $500 rebate on a new car if you are a recent college grad).

4. When you arrive. DRIVE WHAT YOU WANT/CAN AFFORD. Do not drive an upgraded or downgraded version of what you want - it will not give you the altruistic picture you want.

5. Have your salesman give you a demo of features in the car: audio, lights, heating/cooling, navigation, etc. This will help you get a good performance idea while driving.

6. Dive into the hood. Make sure things you'll use often are accesible: the battery, oil compartment, etc. You don't want to be fumbling in an emergency!

7. Pop the trunk. Check where the spare is located and if you can fit golf clubs or Spot's dog crate back there easily along with all of your wife's suitcases.

8. It may be a nuisance, but sit in every seat. Make sure there is adequate legroom. I have to make sure my 5'11" legs can sink into the back seat in case Mom & Dad come to town.

9. Car seat check: does it buckle easily or does a cuss word pass your lips everytime you try to hook that puppy up?

10. Don't be a Dainty Flower Test-Driver - ask if you can take the car to lunch. Hit traffic, highways, hills, parking lots, etc. Maybe even plan a route before.

11. Turn off the stereo and listen for excessive ambient noise while driving. Can you deal with it?

12. Check your Blind Spots by parallel parking and changing lanes.

13. Test the Gas and Brake. Drive in stop & go traffic and merge onto the highway.

Remember, lastly to be patient with your salesman. If you need to sleep on your decision get his card, ask for his schedule and call him no matter what you decide. I am confident that these tips will help you make a great decision, maybe even same day, so you can drive home your new ride tonight!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hot Hyundai Brand.

After reading this article in Automotive News, Hyundai's hot, but store profits are not, I realized something good for you: Hyundai dealers are not sitting on a pile of money laughing maniacally about tiny little customers that mean nothing to them...except profit.

Basically, right now Hyundai is doing well! Their sales increase in the past few (3) years far outweigh the rest of the industry. But (and this is a big but) the Hyundai franchise has some room to grow and in one crucial area - Dealer Profitability. Meaning we are not making huge wads of money off of you.

Hyundai has seen some awesome increases in their market share (meaning the amount of people who buy cars in the U.S. are buying Hyundai's). In 2008 we were at 0.8% market share, 2009 had an an upward hit to 1.2% and in 2010 we spiked to 1.9%. Our rivals are making 3% and upward while the National average is 2.1%.

I write this all to point out....Hyundai is fair. And you know it. Our profit is lower than Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford and even Kia. Doesn't it make you feel warm and fuzzy to know that we appreciate our customers and do not look forward to ripping them off?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Salesman Lingo Unleashed.

Ever wondered what the salesman was saying to you as he started rambling about the new car that was a few signatures away from being yours? Ever just nodded your head in an attempt to get him to quit talking but not really confident of what you were agreeing to? Well, here are a few things we thought would help make your car buying experience a bit breezier.

Rebate: a rebate is an amount paid by way of price reduction off of your new car (only on new cars). On TV commercials I have also seen them called "cash back," "down payment assistance," etc. They are counting highly on the fact that you will not take cash back. Who really would on a $20,000 and up purchase?

APR: this is only if you are financing. APR is Annual percentage rate. Or the amount that you'll pay the bank each year (broken into monthly payments) for taking out your loan. You will pay interest only on your remaining balance each year, so the longer you have the loan, the smaller your interest payments will be.

Upside Down: a strange adjective to describe owing more on your car than it's worth. In some cases you can take out a loan for up to 6 years to lower your payments. The less you pay each month (most likely more in the case of a new car) the more upside down you'll be. This is bad when you want to trade in your car and end up losing money on the deal to pay off your remaining balance and trade in your car. Not so bad if you keep your car forever.

Payment Calculator: It would be best to describe this with the actual payment calculator.
Look Here! This helps you determine your monthly payment based on your down payment, loan term and price of overall vehicle. You can even factor in your trade-in.

Doc Fee:
This fee is typically added to your vehicle price along with sales tax and registration. Most dealerships charge anywhere from $150 to $495 while Eckert only charges $50. At Eckert, we are up front about adds and pricing and we respect you, your pocketbook and your time. These get a bad reputation in the car-buyers mind. Well sure, when you've been taken advantage of by dealer after dealer charging upwards of $500 for a paper shuffle?

Tax, Title, License & Registration Fees: Texas state tax is 8.25% we collect this amount and later pay it to the state. This amount is charged on the difference of your new car after the trade in amount, and after the rebate is taken out. We tax you on the smallest amount possible. We also collect $110.30 on cars for title work, license and registration, which is later collected by the state. If you are buying a used car with a current registration sticker you can opt not to have it renewed (which saves you a trip to the tax office) and reduce your $110.30 about $50. Your choice.

VIT Tax: Vehicle Inventory Tax charged on all new and used cars which is imposed by our county. It is currently 0.2% of your sales price (minus rebate, if you have one). It is usually under $100.

Inspection Fee: This is a mandated $23.75 for new cars. And $39.75 if your car is used and the inspection is expired. If not expired, no charge.

Ah, that's better. Now that your confidence is restored. Take a deep breath and check out some inventory. You know you want to....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hyundai is thought of as and International Nameplate - meaning the car isn't made in America.

Think again! Where we have several plants abroad, we are starting in on building our cars on American soil.

“International nameplate vehicles are some of the most popular on America’s roads today. However, their investment in America is often overlooked,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “This new website will help shed light on the international automotive brands that are building vehicles and creating jobs right here in America.” AIADA is a United States lobbying force dedicated to the economic and political interests of America's international nameplate automobile dealers. Their main focus is to oppose tax increases and promotes free trade. Their goal with the website is to help you understand what international nameplates are creating plants and making jobs here in the U.S.

So far in America there is one Hyundai Manufacturing Plant, located in Montgomery, Alabama. They have created 4,100 jobs! Might make you feel a little better knowing that you're car is made by your friends, right here in Alabama!

Come check out our website and pick out your new car.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Buy a used car...where?

Alright, I have researched and researched the used car buying bonanza. Here's what I have come up with. Buy your used car at a [preferably our] dealership. I know I know you think that I am chock-full of bias because I am here in the dealership typing this right now. But honestly, it's the best way. Honestly.

I am a normal person who doesn't benefit from a car sale and I'm telling you I found some very creepy things on Craigslist and a few other selling resources. Enough to make your skin crawl (I will tell you the best ones, don't worry). But here are my thoughts on why purchasing a used car at dealership is not only the better idea but the safer one.

  • Trustworthiness. Ask anyone, there are some serious horror stories from random, private sellers off of the internet. Here's my favorite doosie (from "We knew one buyer who was on the verge of buying a beautiful but used Mercedes CLK with low miles from a sleek private seller. His fiance convinced him to get a professional inspection, whereas they learned that their luxury dream car was actually spliced together from two separate cars. They’re married now, but they passed (luckily) on the car." We are not allowed to sell you a bad car. And if we do you will have somewhere to bring it back to or someone to call the police on if, heaven forbid, it goes that far. But we aren't going to pack up our "house" and move.

  • Safety. Two reasons I fear Craiglist are 1) Who is coming over to pick this up at my home? 2)Who am I meeting to purchase this car and how many big burly men can I bring with me? You could be face-to-face with any sort of person! At least at the dealership I know I could go alone and there's a clean restroom for me to use. Not to mention our comfy sofas, free wifi and big ole fireplace.

  • Mechanic Inspected. Contrary to any doubts you've had we take really good care of our cars. Here, the mechanics do all of the inspections and fix up your new [used] baby before you drive it home. Unless marked as "As-Is" you will not be purchasing a vehicle with known problems.

Some cool things I found while researching Hyundai's for sale on Craigslist (and by cool I mean terribly awful and weird): A car with a salvage title (meaning at some point in it's life it was considered a "total loss" by an insurance company and then pieced together again), a car with AN EXISTING LIEN (ladies & gentlemen, this was the most terrifying thing I saw, if someone doesn't give you the title, don't buy the car!!!), a car that "can't pass emissions." Did you know that people could turn off the "check engine" light and then sell it to you? On your way home it could turn on and while they are already spending the money you gave them. Buying from a dealership will ensure that you do not bump into any of these problems.

On a side note: if you are trading in your car to us, you do not have to wait. You will instanteously have a trade in and buy out, if you so desire. Convenience factor? A 10.

I know you're thinking now...check out the used car inventory we have!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hot Air Balloon [Financing]

Just as my knowledge of Gap Insurance was somewhat squatty, so my background with Balloon Financing needs some bulk. But here's the interesting thing, when asking people around the dealership, I realized I am not alone! Usually, if someone isn't a car salesman (which is not many of you) they need a little bit more help with their car terminology. I hate feeling dumb.

Balloon Financing. What does that mean?

First: My source of info comes from, creative website name, I know. Feel free to read and read on this site; there's a lot of information. But I will gladly summarize for you with a quick disclaimer that it's not specific to our dealership, though I will review some of our terms at the end.

Balloon Financing allows you to have low monthly payments for a specified term usually 24-36 months. At the end of this term you can do one of a few things:
1) Refinance the remaining balance
2) Pay off the remaining balance
3) Trade in your car
Much like a lease, you can enjoy low payments but the car is yours! There are only a mileage restrictions if you want to return the car at the end of your term.

Balloon Financing is a great way to keep your payment down, especially if your intention is to trade your vehicle every 2-4 years anyways.  But remember that you won't accumulate a lot of equity, so be sure to purchase Gap insurance, keep your mileage low, or put down money on the initial purchase so that you won't end up owing more than your car is worth.

Onto to the good part...
  • 30-50% lower payments than a traditional car loan, on average
  • Generous or no mileage restrictions, depending on the dealer and the lender
  • Flexible terms
  • Choose to trade, sell, return, or refinance the car at the end of the term
  • Sell, buy, or trade vehicle at any time without any penalties
  • You own the vehicle and enjoy all the benefits of ownership
At Eckert Hyundai, our Balloon Financing rates are AMAZING! For example you could [balloon] finance a 2011 Hyundai Sonata with an APR of 1.9%!  With this financing option you could rock a brand spankin' new Sonata for a monthly payment of $199.
To compare, I calculated a 60 month loan with a 5.8% low APR, the same down payment as the balloon amount above, and I came out with a $352 monthly payment. Yikes.

So, for those of you who have the itch for a new set of wheels, check this option out. Take a look at our inventory and contact us to set up a test drive and a chat with one of our salesmen.

photo provided by

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Gap Insurance means to me...and you

Imagine this: You've strolled into your favorite car dealership (ahem, Eckert Hyundai) and you have you eye on a shiny new Sonata...who doesn't? You've worked with your salesman to determine the cost you'll get for your trade in, and what you are planning to pay for your new car. And you have a nice little down payment to go toward your new wheels. Congratulations, you are almost finished!! All you have left to do is work out the financing of your new vehicle...sigh, you were never good at math.

As you listen to the finance man patiently try to explain every aspect of your car payment to you some things fly over your head...they do to me too. After working at this dealership for 2 years, I finally leaned over and asked, "What is Gap Insurance?" and I'll be honest, I was a little embarrassed to ask.

Not only did they explain the concept to me, but I decided to do a little research. So next time you're buying a car here and our delightful finance men can't help you understand, poke your nose around and find me...I'm becoming an expert....sort of.

I found an entire article on Gap Insurance at, you can read it there if you so desire. Here's the jist...Gap insurance is for you if you are financing a new (or even used) car in which you are taking out a loan. Mostly for new cars, because as soon as you drive that puppy off the lot there is a loss in what an insurance company thinks the "value" of the car is. And, my friends, if you make minimum payments on a car over a 5 or 6 year time period, you will quickly be "upside down" in a car. Solely meaning that your car is worth less than you have to pay the bank. No biggie, it's one of the cool things about America. You can purchase a car and pay it off slowly. Blah, blah blah, why get Gap Insurance??

Try this dream on for size: you're driving down the road in the shiny new Sonata you bought and some...person...slams into you. First you think, "ouch," don't worry, in this dream you are OK. But your car is considered "totaled" by the insurance company. Meaning the cost to repair is more than what your car is worth. The insurance company will shell out the bucks to pay you back for what your car is worth...but because you haven't finished paying off your car, you owe the bank money still (for this sake we'll say $2,000). And you think, "I owe money for a car that has been dragged away to the trash pile?!" and the bank says, "yes, pay up." Aren't you glad you got Gap Insurance?? Gap insurance pays the bank what you owe (they fill in the "GAP"). Then you can take all of the money you got for you car and try to replace your old, crushed friend. Something even cooler. If you aren't upside down in your car....Gap Insurance will pay your deductible! Boy, oh, boy, learn something new every day.

The cool thing is, Gap doesn't cost very much. A few hundred bucks, and it's rolled into your car payment, so you end up paying a few dollars a month for lots and lots and lots of protection. And the exciting side is that if you pay off your car early, they will cut you a check for the months you didn't need coverage.

Does it seems like a good idea to you now? It should.

Browse our inventory for a car that you can get some sweet, explained, GAP INSURANCE on...

And then HOPEFULLY this will not happen to you...but that's why you got Gap Insurance, right?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Expect the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid in Early Spring.

Ever been sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office for a REALLY long time? Only to find that when your doctor gets to you they take a considerable amount of time caring for you, laughing with you and then giving your kid a lollipop (dentists beware)? I have. I constantly have to remind myself that either a) there's a huge problem with the person in there, thank the LORD it wasn't me or b) he will probably spend that much time caring for me. lunch break smunch break, doctors visits are important.
And so is your [hybrid] car. Don't you want it to be perfect? Instead of being recalled later? yes, and yes. And I'm sure I don't stand alone.

While you and I are wildly awaiting the release of the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (well probably you more than me, because I don't have a garage to plug mine into yet) we also desire perfection not lame-o imperfections plastered all over our car. Also consider that this is the first time Hyundai has ever made a Hybrid so they probably have some perfecting to do. Understandable, Rome wasn't built in a day, etc.

According to, "The delay comes after Hyundai decided late last year to change the car’s “virtual engine sound system.” The system mimics the sound of an idling gasoline engine to alert nearby pedestrians of the car’s presence when driving at low speeds. Concerns about the safety of pedestrians being unable to hear hybrids, which are nearly silent when moving at low speeds, prompted U.S. lawmakers to pass a law in January requiring automakers to install sound-emitting devices. Under the law signed by President Obama on Jan. 4, all hybrids will be required to have such devices in a few years." Hyundai had planned to have a button on the dashboard where you could turn off this noise (so thoughtful) but after hearing that NHTSA would require it in a few years, they decided to do away with the button and adhere to the government standards (how politically correct and obedient).

Well, that makes sense.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trade in your junker for $3000....hurry before September

Do I have news for you? You may have heard of Aircheck Texas before, but let me explain.

You can get $3000 for your old car. And you don't even have to buy a brand spankin' new car.

Basically, Texas is trying to get high polluting vehicles off the road by offering financial assistance toward a new (or new to you) car. So if your car is having trouble meeting emission tests or your check engine light just won't stop flashing, then continue reading and see if you qualify. Who doesn't want $3000?

A few requirements:

  • You must be a resident of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, or Tarrant County

  • The car must be currently registered in a participating county and has been for at least 12 months prior to the application

  • The car must be driveable and gasoline-powered

  • There are also income requirements that you must meet, check here.

If you meet these requirements you could be approved for $3,000 for a car in the current model year or the previous three model years!

Download your Application and get started on the process! It is certainly worth it.

Eckert Hyundai is an approved dealer and since the car that you are purchasing must be $25,000 or under, Hyundai is the perfect choice.

Hurry, this program ends in September 2011!
Check out our inventory!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Most Read Reviews.

Sometimes we cannot help but boast.

This past week at 2011 Hyundai Elantra and 2011 Hyundai Sonata were the top 2 car reviews read at Congratulations, I guess while we see sales in other countries succeed, we watch the market in the US rise as well. Sales are up for February 2011 109.5%

In seeing the most read reviews of the week, I thought it only polite to let you know the most read blogs on our site. Our Archives are growing to be rather extensive and instead of making you fish through all of them to find your biggest interest, I have thought it only fair to post them here.

1. Big Words: Simplified. A review of the Sonata from Car and Driver Magazine making 2011 Hyundai Sonata one of the 10 best cars for 2011. Congratulations!

2. Asterisk abuse. Not your momma's commuter car. Reveal of the 2011 Elantra promising 40 MPG on the highway. And lots and lots of leg room, so says your 6 foot tall blogger.

3. Super Bowl Ad Recap. No need to explain this one. Watch all of the ads (even the ones they didn't post here!), pick your favorite and vote!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hyundai Global Reviews.

Sadly in Europe, probably there is no Super Bowl for us to sponsor, Hyundai isn't known half as much as other carmakers. Until recently. It's sales in Europe have grown faster than any other market. According to Colleen Barry of ABC News, "Volkswagen's Chairman, whose goal is to make the German Automaker the biggest in the world, says Hyundai is the one company that could foil his ambitions."

Hyundai is unconcerned with size and growth and being the biggest (although, eventually we will arrive) but currently they are focused on broadening appeal, growing in recognition and selling bigger cars at improved margins.

The picture above is from's Angus Mackenzie and Ron Kiino's trip in a Hyundai Genesis Across Europe. They take this luxury sedan, with a photographer, from Paris to Istanbul stopping in Champagne caves, the Led Zepplin Museum, you know, normal places you'd want to stop. The article is interesting and I can say, I would definitely sign up for that project. Happy reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hyundai building a new home in Brazil.

In new and recent news Hyundai is building factories in Brazil! Let's all go down for Carnivale and marvel at the Hyundai's tooling around town. For you environmentalists out there, don't worry, they are not planning to tear down any of the rainforest to build the new plant. The picture is just for show. Their ultimate goal is squeezing out Ford which currently has 10 % of the Brazilian Market. Hyundai has 3.

According to Jesse Toprak, VP at, "Eighty percent of all growth in global new vehicle sales in the next five years will occur outside of the North American Market." Wow, looks like we better "plant" ourselves abroad.

Now, for the first few years Hyundai will most likely spend lots of money building up the Brazilian market and lose lots. But in the end they will prevail...I mean, look what they did in the U.S.! "Hyundai has a track record of stealthy giant killing," says Matthew DeBord author at CBS Business Network, BNET.

"So, memo to Ford: you don’t want to be number four in a market where that makes you the most obvious target, and one gunning for your spot is the Korean carmaker that could."

Friday, March 4, 2011

From "Blue Link" to "Green Routing." My, we are colorful.

Who doesn't want to be green? We get organic fruits & veggies, we buy Hybrid cars, we try to lower our carbon footprint, we ride bicycles, open our windows instead of using the A/C. We're trying!

Well, here's a cool way to go green. Hyundai is partnering with NAVTEQ (personal interest because my brother works for Navteq) to create "Green Routing." Hyundai itself, developed a new software working with NAVTEQ's digital map data. NAVTEQ has gotten so good they can predict unusual traffic jams. This analytical data will pick a route for you resulting in the greatest fuel efficiency.

Hyundai says, "we are looking to exploit any opportunity which encourages responsible driving and lowers CO2 emissions." Well, aren't we all?

NAVTEQ's tests of "fastest" and "greenest" routes showed an average 6 % fuel savings in urban cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Chicago (where my family lives) and New York City. Often people are saving more than this average 6%. Not only do they offer fast and green routes but your NAVTEQ Green Routing will show you the suggested speed and gear for your terrain to save on fuel consumption.

What will you do with all of your extra money?? Buy more organic food.

Here are some other websites I found on this new effort to be green...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ever Heard of Blue Link?

This might get wordy. See for yourself what the Blue Link is all about, it is definitely worth saving your pennies for. Please notice in honor of Hyundai's Blue link, I made a blue link to click on. I couldn't help myself.

What is it?

You've heard of OnStar, right? the system that will call if you get into an accident or start your car if you lost your keys, etc. etc. Well, this is OnStar on Steroids. Eat your heart out, GM.

Not only does Blue Link know where you are, where you are going, every shortcut and points of interest in the area but it can also tell you

  • gas stations in the area and their prices

  • restaurants and reviews from past customers

  • mechanical problems with your car AND make an appointment to fix them

  • call for help if you are in an accident

We are taking "smart cars" to a whole new level and with more seating. This system is amazing.

What else does it do?

  • Automated Crash Notification

  • SOS Emergency Assistance - not only dispatching appropriate assistance but also notifying friends and family.

  • Stolen Vehicle Recovery - finds your stolen vehicle fast using a GPS and may even lower your insurance premiums

  • Remote Lock, Unlock and Vehicle Start via mobile app, phone call or website

  • Voice to Text

  • Monthly Vehicle Reports - issues, mileage, upcoming maintenance all to your email once a month - HANDY!

  • Point-of-Interest Web Search - upload from internet to owner website and it'll be waiting in your car when you buckle up.

  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation System - fastest, shortest, least traffic, best mileage, avoid highways or toll roads.

  • Eco Coach - tracks miles and CO2 emissions and give advice on efficient driving.

All of these systems are linked to an "owner website" where you are log in to upload anything right to your car's Blue Link System. You can log on anytime from work and upload directions to dinner for tonight, lock your car, and even get safe driving advice. This is the car of the future.

When will it come out?

Expect Blue Link's System to be in 2012 Hyundai Sonatas and 2012 Hyundai Velosters. The Hyundai Veloster has an expected release this summer. So maybe over spring break you can do a quick lemonade stand for some extra cash to get this amazing system!

Last but not least..

Choose from 3 Packages

  1. Assurance - basic OnStar-esque system, but amplified. Crash notification, SOS, monthly email vehicle reports, and enhanced roadside assistance.

  2. Essentials - this package is more than the essentials it even goes as far to provide a curfew alert for your "I promise I'll be home by 11" teenager, car lock and unlock, and stolen vehicle recovery.

  3. Guidance - this takes essentials to the next level - this package even goes as far as giving you restaurant reviews and advice. Traffic reports and an Eco Coach. Your car becomes your friend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

High-End Hyundai Notes. New articles to read.

Read this de-lightful review of the Hyundai Elantra from USA Today.

If you watched the Oscars, you know that Hyundai worked their commercials. As one of the major contributors they showed a total of 9 commercials. Watch their newest here.

Also, if you're like me, you typed in "" right away - no worries, here is your link! Happy hunting, I suggest choosing English to get into the site. Quite possibly the coolest website I've seen in a while.

Hyundai Genesis and the Hyundai Sonata are named "Best Bet" of 2011. “BEST BETS” vehicles are rated in nine key Car Book categories: crash tests, safety features, rollover, preventative maintenance, repair costs, warranty, fuel economy, complaints, and insurance, with the heaviest emphasis on safety. Having 2 cars in this category is a huge vote of confidence for Hyundai Drivers out there!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And Hyundai Wins the Popular Vote.

In this article from the Wall Street Journal, author Dan Neil takes a close look at the new Hyundai Elantra and compares it to the Ford Focus and comments, "the Hyundai Elantra is a bullet, and that bullet just whistled past Ford's head. Or maybe grazed its skull. Hyundai's freshly redesigned compact sedan—handsome, roomy, richly detailed and stacked to the rafters with standard and optional amenities." hmmm, we can't say no to reading this article.

"One superlative the Elantra owns outright: It's the better-looking car. Styled at Hyundai's Southern California design studio, the car manages to wear Hyundai's so-called fluidic styling without looking like it's retaining water." We know, we can't help it, we just create more attractive cars. Somehow the Elantra steals the show everytime.
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