Aussies eye Hyundai’s i10
THE tiddler i10 from Hyundai looks more likely for Australia as the Koreans launch a two-pronged attack with their new baby.
The i10 was designed and developed in and for Europe, where it will be built at a factory at Izmit in Turkey— but it is also being primed for India.
There are differences between the European and Indian cars, but the basic idea is the same and the target would be a sub-$12,000 price in Australia.
The i10 was originally dismissed by local Hyundai management, partly because it would be difficult to get the right price and partly because there were few cars in its size class.
But sourcing from India, and the rise of cars such as the Suzuki Alto and Mitsubishi Mirage, have changed the landscape.
‘‘The business case for Australasia is still being looked at,’’ admits Hyundai spokesman, Bill Thomas.
The big change is the arrival of an all-new i10. It’s more refined, is truly European, and can be ordered with alloy wheels and LED daytime running lamps.
Hyundai in Europe claims it brings ‘‘class leading space, levels of comfort and safety from the segment above, and sophisticated exterior and interior design’’.
The objective was creating a car people wanted to buy— not one they had to.
For Australia, the conflicting demands of Euro- pean quality and price — and an unproven pipeline from India — are still creating questions.
The obvious answer is to forge a solid link to India, but Thomas admits the i10 there is slightly different from the European model.
‘‘The Indian car has a longer wheelbase, has a slightly shorter nose, and the window line at the back is not as sleek. It looks a bit more upright and practical; it’s not as sleek,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s less appealing for the Australian market. It’s fair to say that our tastes are more European.’’
But the i10 is regarded as more premium in India, where Hyundai will call the new model the Grand i10.
This reporter is on twitter @paulwardgover.
The 2013 model of the Hyundai i10 would appeal to the Australian market because it is much more refined and truly European