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by Matt Campbell

Hyundai can’t afford to ignore the growth in the sub-compact SUV class, according to the brand’s European president and chief operating officer, Allan Rushforth.

Hyundai is one of a number of brands that hasn’t yet revealed its intent for a sub-compact SUV to compete with the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Holden Trax and Renault Captur.

That is likely to change, according to Rushforth, and CarAdvice has the photos to prove there is a new baby SUV currently undergoing testingHyundai ix25 1.

“The crossover segment is the segment that’s showing the most potential, hence the world premiere of the Intrado concept here,” he said at the 2014 Geneva motor show.

Europe is of particular importance for Hyundai globally, and the company is aiming to increase its market share in that part of the world to five per cent. Rushforth said a new sub-compact SUV – which could be called ix25 – is vital to achieving that sales goal.

“Absolutely – it would be an important part of the brand’s development towards five per cent market share in Europe,” he said. “We’re running at 3.4 per cent at the moment, and we need to move forward. We need to do that organically rather than any other way,” he said.

Rushforth said the SUV segment offers a lot of opportunities, both for mainstream models and for more niche offerings, such as a potential Genesis SUV.

“Right now, in Europe at least, we’re looking at filling some of the big gaps in our range simply in order to fulfil our potential.

“I think optimising our margins and improving our brand positioning will come from filling the niches,” he said.

“But we’ve got a big test just to populate the range with the cars that European consumers want right now. There’s lots of opportunity here and now with more conventional vehicles.”