Hyundai has at last revealed that it will soon introduce a new global compact SUV, dubbed ‘Creta’.
The Korean carmaker has yet to offer any word on the compact SUV’s platform and styling, although it is likely that China’s new ix25 will form the basis.
Hyundai describes the Creta as its “first sub-compact SUV”, leaving little doubt that the carmaker will rename the ix25 - just as the larger ix35’s coming replacement has again been re-christened Tucson, a name still worn in many markets.
The ix25 has so far been held back from launch in western markets, due primarily to concerns over crash safety.
But, with proportions that fit the bill and styling features that would comfortably slot into Hyundai’s global family, a version of the ix25 focused on the requirements of the European market could be just the ticket.
As for its name, Hyundai says the Creta is named in part for Crete, the largest of the Greek islands.
"Situated in the Mediterranean Sea, Crete was the focal point for Greece’s global prowess in trade and culture, in its heyday connecting Europe, Asia and Africa," the company said in a statement.
"The Creta name is simple and easy to remember, deliberately evoking welcome similarities with the term 'creative'."
Hyundai Australia’s SUV range will be short one ‘small’ model when the new Tucson launches next month to replace the ix35.
A local launch for the Creta would see Hyundai return to the popular small-SUV segment, but that is still to be confirmed.
Speaking with TMR today, Hyundai Australia spokesperson Bill Thomas said that it is too early to say if the Creta will be seen in local showrooms.
The announcement today of the Creta’s late 2015 coming may in fact have taken the local office by surprise.
Speaking with TMR in April, Hyundai Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, John Elsworth, said the company “won’t have a small SUV for a number of years”.
The Creta could play a significant role for Hyundai locally: the brand is firmly placed as the fourth best-selling carmaker in Australia, finishing April with 30,823 year-to-date sales - just 1030 behind Holden.
With sales up in the small-SUV segment up 30.8 percent year-to-date (34,279 sales against 26,213 for the same period in 2014), a decent slice of that pie could conceivably shift Hyundai into third place.
Watch for the Creta to make its global debut later this year - likely at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show - and for word on its Australian potential to firm up closer to that date.
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