Veloster in the pipeline
Hyundai needs a new Tiburon, writes PAUL GOVER
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.