Hyundai is planning to launch several new models in the UK over the next 18 months as its aims to consolidate the stronger position it established during the country's scrappage scheme.
The firm has enjoyed recorded sales under the government-backed scheme and the firm’s UK managing director Tony Whitehorn told Autocar that Hyundai would be looking to maintain these sales going in 2010.
“Scrappage has been a massive help in helping people recognise the Hyundai brand,” said Whitehorn. “But, quite rightly, it does have to end at some point and we’re focused on maintaining our sales going into 2010 and beyond.”
First up in 2010 will be the launch of the Tucson replacement, the ix35. Ahead of that, the facelifted Santa Fe is due on sale within the next few weeks.
In the second half of 2010, the firm will launch two new MPVs in an attempt to broaden its range and compete in market sectors where it has previously struggled.
The first MPV will be a five-seater, based on the Kia Venga unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, while a larger seven-seater will arrive at the same time.
The five-seater will be based on the firm’s i20 supermini platform and will share its engine with that model. Whitehorn says the car’s main competitor will be the Nissan Note; that means the car will, in effect, be the replacement for the unloved Matrix. It will share its engines with the i20 and will adopt the firm’s ‘i’ badge.
The seven-seater is likely to be based on the i-mode concept car, displayed at the Geneva motor show in 2008. This model will be a rival to the Vauxhall Zafira, sharing its platform and engines with the i30 hatchback.
Although no launch dates have been confirmed, both cars expected to appear at the Paris motor show in the autumn before going on sale in early 2011.
The Hyundai i40, the Sonata’s replacement, is also set to go on sale in 2011. Again, no launch date has been decided, but it could make its debut at the Bologna motor show later in 2010. Saloon, hatchback and estate versions will all be offered.
In late 2010, Hyundai will launch a facelifted version of the popular i10 city car. The styling and trim levels will both be refreshed, while new engines may also make their way into the line-up. The firm has already confirmed that a new 800cc, three-cylinder turbocharged engine will be available some time in 2010.
No facelift of the i30 hatchback will be launched; instead Hyundai is planning to replace the model earlier than originally envisaged, possibly in 2011.
Following in 2011 will be the firm’s new flagship model, the Veloster. This will be a replacement for the Coupe and Whitehorn described it as a “halo” model rather than a volume seller.
Finally, a production version of the ix-metro concept from Frankfurt should arrive in 2012. The source said it would “look much the same as the concept” and will be pitched as a rival to the Nissan Qazana.