New Elantra just the start

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL GOVER

A TI­DIER Elantra is the next new­comer from Hyundai as it ac­cel­er­ates its plans for the next five years.

The mid-sized Korean con­tender only gets a mild up­date for 2013 but there is much more to come.

The up­scale Gen­e­sis coupe is al­ready con­firmed and now comes news from Korea of an up­date to the Ac­cent later this year, as well as the Ac­cent SR de­vel­oped in Aus­tralia to sit along­side the SR ver­sions of the Veloster, pic­tured above left, and i30.

Hyundai has a long-term goal to move up from its fourth place in the Aus­tralian mar­ket and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, John Elsworth, is talk­ing up the prospects.

‘‘Our re­sults this year have been in­cred­i­bly strong. Over­all we are placed fourth in the mar­ket,’’ Mr Elsworth says.

Our re­sults this year have been in­cred­i­bly strong

‘‘We’re No.2 in pas­sen­ger cars and fourth in SUVs.’’

Hyundai is still short of mod­els, in­clud­ing a ute to pitch into the red-hot pickup con­test but it’s no worse than third in any of the show­room classes where it has a se­ri­ous con­tender.

‘‘Our ap­proach and goal is for con­sis­tent growth, ver­sus peaks and troughs in sales, and hav­ing a good mix of sales across mod­els and all buyer types,’’ Mr Elsworth says.

‘‘Cur­rently our sales mix con­tin­ues to im­prove, with 66 per cent of sales go­ing to pri­vate and small busi- nesses, and add to that nine per cent dealer demon­stra­tors, which are pre­dom­i­nantly sold pri­vately af­ter their hold­ing pe­riod.

‘‘So that’s 75 per to pri­vate and small busi­ness.’’

Against that back­ground, Hyundai is bullish about its sales fore­cast for 2013 against an over­all mar­ket it ex­pects to hit 1.14 mil­lion.

With the i30 SR ready now for show­rooms, the next ar­rival is the up­dated Elantra.

‘‘It will be here this year. In the third quar­ter,’’ com­pany spokesman Bill Thomas told Cars­guide.

‘‘It’s a mid-life Elantra up­date. There are no sheet­metal changes but there are new lights front and rear.

‘‘One of the big im­prove­ments is in­side, where we’ve put the cen­tral air vents higher, based on cus­tomer feed­back, and that’s given us the op­por­tu­nity to give the cabin a more pre­mium feel.

‘‘It’s got our new sus­pen­sion as well. It’s very nice.’’

But there is still no chance of a diesel en­gine choice in the Elantra.

‘‘There is a diesel for other coun­tries but we’re stay­ing with petrol for Aus­tralia,’’ Mr Thomas says.

Apart from the Gen­e­sis, the star for 2014 is a new Sonata. It has a new body, a dif­fer­ent in­te­rior ap­proach and will get Aus­tralian sus­pen­sion tun­ing.

Hyundai is also ex­pected to add a rear-wheel drive sporty sedan, in the style of the Lexus IS, by 2016.

Its code name is RK and it could have styling based on the HCD-14 con­cept car from this year’s Detroit mo­tor show.

But no-one is say­ing any­thing about RK or any­thing be­yond the end of this year.

‘‘No comment. That’s it,’’ Mr Thomas says bluntly.

This re­porter is on Twit­ter@paulward­gover

The up­dated Hyundai Ac­cent range ar­rives in show­rooms later this year and in­cludes the 103kW SR per­for­mance ver­sion which was de­vel­oped in Aus­tralia

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