Hyundai Australia’s management has no excuse to be caught slacking off this year, with a full calendar of new and updated model launches on the horizon.
After a relatively quiet period of consolidation, the Korean company — a comfortable number three in sales here after Toyota and Mazda — will launch an all-out market attack in 2017.
The brand is down 11.5 per cent this year so far, down to the 34 per cent decline of its i30 staple ahead of the arrival of its new-generation version.
But now that this ‘PD’ i30 is in-market (read last week’s launch reviews) the company can turn its attention to the seven other new or upgraded models expected to launch in the next 12 months.
First cab off the rank is the revised Sonata Series II sedan due in August with new cabin equipment and a bolder design to better challenge the Toyota Camry top-seller.
Around September the company will launch its Genesis luxury sub-brand here, as a rival to Lexus and the Germans. Kicking off the brand will be the rear-drive G70, a C-Class and BMW 3 Series rival, alongside the rebranded and retuned G80 large sedan.
Then in the final quarter we’ll see launch of its new Ioniq family, kicking off with the Prius-rivalling series hybrid, to be followed in early 2018 by PHEV and full-electric derivations – at least, that’s the plan.
Around the same time as the regular Ioniq hybrid arrives (late ’17) you can expect to see the long-overdue small SUV rival to the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, called the Hyundai Kona.
Expected in November this year is a car at the other end of the performance spectrum – the i30 N mega hatch with its Nurburgring tuning, 184kW and 205kW engine tunes, electromechanical front diff and adaptive dampers, designed to put the company on the map against the Golf R/GTI and Focus RS/ST.
Looking into early 2018, Hyundai will continue its performance bent by launching the second-generation Veloster, expected to retain the signature asymmetrical design but improve the handling and cabin ambience appreciably.
While it falls outside the 12-month window, Hyundai will also lob a brand new version of the big-selling Santa Fe family SUV next year, keeping its product planners (and local suspension engineers who re-tune all vehicles) rather busy.
It’s hard to see Hyundai dropping out of the top-three with this stuff on the horizon. Once its HiLux rival belatedly arrives around 2021, Mazda and Toyota will need to watch out, you suspect.