Aussies eye Hyundai’s i10

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

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

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