Hyundai will more than double its SUV model range in the next five years with the arrival of a tiny city-focused model and a large SUV.
Speaking at the release of the Kona small SUV – a crucial pillar expected to grow Hyundai Australia’s sales by at least 10 percent – Hyundai’s global vice chairman Euisun Chung confirmed it was only the start of an SUV model offensive.
The Kona is the public face of that SUV expansion, ushering in a new look that includes a distinctive split-layer grille and slimline LED headlights.
“Our plan is to come up with A segment SUV … by 2020,” said Chung through a translator. “We are also planning to roll out a large SUV, or E segment SUV, which is bigger than Santa Fe.
“We want to have a full SUV lineup … to expand our customer’s choice.”
SUV sales have been booming globally and in Australia for the first time SUVs have outsold traditional passenger cars early in 2017.
Chung also said there was an intense focus on environmentally friendly vehicles, including electric cars, hybrids and hydrogen vehicles.
“We will continue to focus more on eco cars, for example EVs and hydrogen electric vehicles,” he said.
Another senior executive confirmed there was an all-electric version of the Kona in development, something that would be offered in some markets from 2018.
“We are targeting a mass production of Kona EV from next year,” he said. “The driving range is very important … we are looking at a driving range of 390 kilometres or more.”
He also said there was a hydrogen fuel cell version of the Kona in development.
“Clean mobility is a core strategy of Hyundai motor company in future.”
Late this year Hyundai Australia will launch the Ioniq (pictured below), a Toyota Prius-fighting hatch to be offered as a pure electric car, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.
The next few years are shaping up to be busy for Hyundai, which is focusing on bolstering and growing its range.
Hyundai is also developing a dual-cab ute to compete with the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. A ute is seen as crucial for significantly growing Hyundai’s sales, especially in Australia. Utes now account for almost 200,000 of the 1.1-million-plus cars sold annually in Australia.
That ute would also logically include an SUV derivative, in much the same way as Toyota spins the Fortuner off the Hilux platform.
It’s not known whether than SUV is the larger SUV Hyundai’s vice chairman confirmed was in the works or whether it would be more of a car-based wagon.