Models like the i30 three-door are important brand builders
Hyundai UK has declared its intention to halt its meteoric growth over the past five years in 2013, because it doesn't have enough cars to sell.
The company announced record sales in 2012 yesterday, to just under 75,000 cars, up 160 per cent since 2008. It has become the first Korean manufacturer to break into the UK's top 10 biggest-selling car makers.
However, boss Tony Whitehorn revealed today that, with all of Hyundai's European factories operating at maximum capacity, and demand for more cars being led by China, the USA, Russia and India, the UK was only targeting a repeat of last year's sales rather than continuing its exponential growth because it could not get enough new cars to sell.
"Last year was a watershed, one in which we broke all records," said Whitehorn. "In contrast, 2013 will be about building the brand so that the company name reflects the quality of our vehicles, ahead of a renewed attack in 2014."
As part of that strategy, Whitehorn said it was key to keep new Hyundai owners buying new cars from within the brand.
"Around 75 per cent of our customers have been conquest customers from other brands," he said. "That's great, because it shows an acceptance of what we do, and that we can compete with established mass market brands and premium brands. It is clear austerity has driven people to make rational purchases. What we want to do now is demonstrate that our cars are more than rational purchases, that they are great value cars, but also that they are backed up by great dealers with great staff and a great warranty and aftercare package."
Key to growth in 2014 will be the launch of a new Hyundai i10 late this year. The city car is Hyundai UK's best-selling model, and marketing director Andrew Cullis has vowed the new model will retain the existing car's values.
"It will do all the same things that have made the current car so popular, but it will do them better," said Cullis.
The new i10 and the i20 will be built in Hyundai's factory in Turkey, which is currently being expanded to create extra capacity.