The Czech-built Hyundai ix35 SE has been the star performer for Hyundai this year, leading the ix35 to become the second-best selling SUV in the country with sales up a massive 66.4 percent so far this year.
Speaking to CarAdvice in Queensland last week, Hyundai Australia’s chief operating officer, John Elsworth, said the Korean company was still in “controlled growth” mode but has been hindered by capacity issues.
“We have capacity constraints that we have to deal with from our Korean plant that has gone from three shifts to two, so you know, the volume that we’ve got isn’t as freely available as it has been in past years.” Elsworth said.
The popularity of the ix35 as well as other models has led Hyundai to a 6.2 percent growth year-on-year compared with 2012. Brands such as Holden, Subaru, Toyota, Ford, and Volkswagen have seen their sales go backwards in the same period.
Next year will see numerous model updates for Hyundai in Australia and the company has already confirmed that it will bring the Genesis Coupe, when it becomes available.
“[Genesis Coupe] is something we said we’d do, but not sure when, as the plans are very fluid.”
The new Hyundai i10 is also on the company’s radar if the financial equation makes sense with the city car being sourced out of Europe, but also manufactured in India.
Elsworth said there are no firm plans but Hyundai Australia would love to have the i10, with the issue being the Euro to AUD conversion.
“The segment is very price sensitive, if you’re not on the price point the difference in volume is vast.”
Hyundai Australia took a near 15 percent hit when the Euro equation changed unfavourably for the Czech-sourced ix35 with the local operation absorbing the costs rather than passing it to market.
The multi-national sourcing of vehicles has helped eliminate some supply constraints and is a source of pride for Hyundai according to Elsworth.
“We are proud of the fact that we’ve got cars coming from Korea and Europe, the source of the car doesn’t really matter to us. I think the brand has come a long way, I think the fact that it has a Hyundai badge is reassuring.”
Hyundai finished October as the third best selling automotive brand in Australia.