Roll­out in a jam

Hyundai’s many new cars are caus­ing con­fu­sion, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

AFLOOD of new cars is caus­ing prob­lems for Hyundai and po­ten­tial con­fu­sion for buy­ers in Aus­tralia.

The Korean com­pany has so much new stuff, from the baby i20 to the up­com­ing Veloster coupe, that the lo­cal op­er­a­tion is hav­ing trou­ble choos­ing the right cars for lo­cal buy­ers.

An all-new Elantra is set to go, but there could be a con­flict with an­other new model, the i40, that’s about to be un­veiled in Europe.

The Veloster coupe could also run into a fam­ily feud with a two-door Elantra coupe that’s been de­vel­oped for the US.

‘‘We’re work­ing re­ally hard. We just want to con­tinue to bring the best prod­ucts, the right prod­ucts, for the cus­tomers in Aus­tralia,’’ Hyundai Aus­tralia spokesman Ben Her­sh­man says.

He ad­mits there is a lot of new- model ac­tiv­ity but says Hyundai is al­ready clear on the Elantra.

‘‘Elantra is def­i­nitely com­ing. Its co­de­name is MD at the mo­ment for Aus­tralia It’s the same prod­uct as the Elantra in the US,’’ Her­sh­man says.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely not the first quar­ter here in Aus­tralia.’’

So what about the i40, which will be re­vealed as a sta­tion wagon next week at the Geneva Mo­tor Show? It could run into in-house op­po­si­tion from the ex­ist­ing i45 sedan and the new Elantra.

‘‘We hope to an­nounce whether i40 will come Aus­tralia fairly soon,’’ Her­sh­man says. ‘‘It’s not the same as Elantra. It’s a dif­fer­ent car. Its co­de­name is VF.’’

He be­lieves the Elantra and i40 — or MD and VF — can sit side by side in Aus­tralian show­rooms, at least based on their size.

‘‘MD will fit into the com­pact seg­ment. The VF, once we have some con­fir­ma­tion, is likely to be a medium ve­hi­cle. But we don’t have any firm di­men­sions yet.

‘‘If we go back a few years, we had Elantra — with a wagon — and Sonata.

‘‘The pic­tures for Geneva show that there is a wagon in the i40.

‘‘Hope­fully in the near fu­ture, we’ll be able to make an an­nounce­ment about whether i40 will come.’’

Set to go: Hyundai’s all-new Elantra is com­ing to Aus­tralia. It is the same prod­uct as the Elantra in the US.

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