Despite all the doom and surrounding the car industry at the moment, there is still one company who can afford to give itself a pat on the back – Hyundai.
Yesterday I spent the day at its European headquarters in Frankfurt looking at some new models that it hopes will ensure it can maintain its impressive sales figures when all the scrappage cash runs out.
First we saw the all-electric i10. Unlike most electric cars being mooted at the moment, its lithium-ion polymer batteries have the potential to 85 per cent recharge after 15 minutes. Suddenly the idea of taking your electric car outside the city seems like an achievable prospect.
Although we didn’t get to see the new ix-metro concept as the paint was still wet on it, it does give us a glimpse into where Hyundai wants to go in the future. If the baby SUV production car is half as radical as the concept, then it’s going to be one interesting car.
As one Hyundai executive put it, Hyundai want its future sales to be “emotion led rather than value led”. In other words, you’re going to want to buy future Hyundai models because they look good, not because they are cheap.