Veloster in the pipe­line

Hyundai needs a new Tiburon, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

TIME is run­ning out for the Hyundai Tiburon. Fast. The car named af­ter a shark has been cruis­ing be­low the water­line for a while now with sales slowly slid­ing away. Now it’s been har­pooned and is about to be landed.

The Tiburon is into runout in Aus­tralia and there is solid news from Europe about a re­place­ment based on Hyundai’s 2007 con­cept car, the Veloster.

The Amer­i­can-fo­cused Gen­e­sis coupe is a def­i­nite no, be­cause it’s only built in left-hand-drive, but the Veloster is firm­ing as the new Tiburon.

Still, there is lit­tle news on a new coupe and even Hyundai Au­to­mo­tive can’t add much to the talk.

Hyundai spokesman Stephen Howard ad­mits‘ ‘‘The Tiburon is now con­sid­ered to be a dis­con­tin­ued model. There are not too many left. We’re just run­ning out the stock we have.’’

Tiburon sales in June fell to only 44 cars, com­pared with 96 in the same month last year. The half-yearly show­room to­tal is down from 96 to 44 cars. This com­pares with the lat­est Nis­san 370Z at 237.

But Howard says there is no plan yet for a Veloster.

‘‘We have had no con­fir­ma­tion from HMC in (South) Korea,’’ he says.

‘‘It prob­a­bly de­pends on busi­ness cases and due dili­gence. It de­pends on whether the num­bers stack up.’’

But he def­i­nitely ruled out the US coupe, even though Hyundai has dis­played one in Aus­tralia.

‘‘‘Gen­e­sis coupe? It’s only pro­duced for left-hand-drive mar­kets. And it’s cur­rently in Korea and Amer­ica,’’ he says.

The Veloster was un­veiled in Seoul in 2007 and is sim­i­lar in size and style to the Volk­swa­gen Scirocco, which would be its ma­jor ri­val in Europe. It shares much of its me­chan­i­cal pack­age with the i30, Hyundai’s show­room spear­head in that part of the world.

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