Hyundai will further expand its SUV line-up with two new models and an electric version of the newly launched Kona; three of 30 new Hyundais to come by 2021 as part of its plan to be the number one Asian brand in Europe. The Kona EV will be launched at the 2018 Geneva motor show.
Speaking at the launch of the new Nissan Juke-rivalling Kona compact SUV in Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai’s vice chairman Eui-sun Chung said that the firm would launch a new 'A-SUV' car, smaller than the Kona, by 2020. A large SUV that sits above the Tucson will follow to complete the marque's five-model SUV range.
“We have analysed the needs of our customers, and the SUV segment is reaching saturation,” said Chung. “We believe there’s greater room for potential growth in the B-SUV segment [compact crossovers such as the Kona and Juke]. Young drivers are looking for small but solid and powerful cars.
“Our plan is to develop an A-segment SUV that is smaller than the Kona by 2020 so we can embrace the SUV from A to E segment, so we will also roll out an E-segment SUV that is bigger than Santa Fe. We want a full SUV line-up to respond to our customers' needs.”
A-segment baby SUVs are particularly popular in emerging markets such as India, and Hyundai officials said they hoped the new car would also appeal to first-time car buyers. The larger E-segment SUV is likely intended primarily for markets such as North America.
Chung said the planned Kona EV was part of the company’s focus on alternatively fuelled vehicles, such as the Ioniq, which is available with three different powertrains.