New Elantra just the start
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