With the arrival of the i20 in Australian showrooms this week, Hyundai Australia has delivered the final addition to its line-up for 2010.
The ix35 and i45 were both launched earlier in the year and have been generating significant showroom traffic since, but Hyundai Australia’s Senior Manager of Product Planning Roland Rivera has revealed to TMR that the Korean company won’t be stopping there.
An even more aggressive product expansion is planned for 2011, with four new Hyundai models (not including updates of existing cars) set to arrive on Australian shores next year.
The all-new Elantra is a dead certainty, confirmed for a 2011 launch by Hyundai Australia’s own Director of Marketing Oliver Mann. The other three aren’t too hard to figure out.
The i10 is a strong prospect for a 2011 release. Hyundai hasn’t confirmed it yet, but with i20 pricing set to remain static after the Getz is withdrawn (expected to occur around the end of the first quarter of 2011), the door is left open for the i10 to take over from the Getz in the bargain-basement sub-light market.
Hyundai Australia CEO Edward Lee said that although a business case for the i10 had yet to be finalised, “if it is necessary and demand is there, we will bring it here”.
Since earlier this year the Accent has been missing from Hyundai’s local line-up, leaving the current-shape Elantra as the company’s only small sedan.
Hyundai will be targeting Toyota’s youth-oriented brand Scion in the USA when its Veloster sporty coupe debuts sometime in 2011, and it could very easily come our way as a replacement for the Tiburon.
A swoopily-styled front wheel-drive coupe, it’s smaller than the Tiburon and doesn’t have a V6 option, but, much like the Tiburon, the Veloster is more fashion statement than sports car.
The LHD-only Genesis Coupe is high on Hyundai Australia’s wishlist, but a local release will likely have to wait until the second-generation model arrives sometime around 2013.
With the current model at the tail-end of its life-cycle, there’s also an outside chance that the Grandeur will see an all-new replacement next year. However, no prototypes of such a car have been spotted as yet, and a replacement may not surface until 2012.
While Hyundai’s product plans for next year aren’t totally confirmed, one thing is for sure: Hyundai’s new alphanumeric naming system is here to stay, and all models sold in Australia will eventually conform.
As the sedan-shaped stablemate of the i30 the Elantra will most likely wear an i35 badge, while the smaller Accent will be renamed i25.
As a compact sports hatch it’s not immediately obvious how the Veloster will be named. But, as with the ix35, Hyundai may simply add another letter to create a new model designation.
Hyundai’s plan to bring four new models next year is just the next step in its aggressive expansion in the Australian market, and will in all likelihood see it snare an even greater share of the new-car market.
Its overall market share this year is currently hovering around the eight percent mark, and the company has made no secret of its ambition to reach the 10 percent milestone – worth roughly 100,000 cars per year. Around the same time last year, Hyundai had only a 6.6 percent market share.
Core models like the i30, Santa Fe and Getz have been the cornerstones of Hyundai’s present sales effort, but strong performance from its commercial offerings (particularly the iLoad van) has also boosted sales.
The recently-launched i45 sedan is proving popular too, and a fix for its rear suspension (criticised at launch by a number of media outlets, including TMR) is due to come in a few months.
With four all-new products set to hit showrooms next year, Hyundai looks set to become an even more dominant player in the Australian automotive landscape.
In passenger car sales, Toyota and Holden - currently sitting at one and two - could soon find themselves duking it out for top spot against a very motivated Korean competitor.