Hyundai Australia public relations general manager Bill Thomas told CarAdvice confirmation of the second-gen Hyundai i20 – recently detailed in full European specification – for Australia is still a way off.
“It’s a while off yet before we work it out,” Thomas said.
“[The delay is] because we won’t take the Indian car.
“It’s not suitable for our market and it’s quite a bit different to the European car – rides a little bit higher, looks a little bit different. It’s not a car we’re going to take.”
With the business case for the car still being worked through, Thomas said the European car is where local interest lies, but admitted “the numbers aren’t easy because the car is built in Turkey”.
“A lot of it is going to depend on timing but in the meantime we have the i20 as it is,” Thomas said referring to the current first-generation light car that locally, year-to-date, is the best-selling car in its class with 9788 units sold for 14.4 per cent market share.
Thomas said he’d like to see a decision made by the end of the year, saying confirmation could “possibly” happen by then, “but we’ll have to wait and see".
The PR boss also said that while the local division remains in the dark but optimistic about the i20 Coupe project teased in a sketch earlier this month.
“All we’ve seen is the sketch. But you can probably assume that that is the three-door i20. To what extent it’ll be a coupe we don’t really know.
“I just think a really good looking three-door, that’s not quite just an upright three-door car, would be good. And [while] that’s certainly what you’d pick up from that illustration … there’s a big difference between illustration and real cars.”
Thomas said that though he would expect any three-door i20 Coupe to likely share its drivetrain with the five-door (available with two petrol engines and two diesels), he stressed that Hyundai Australia is still to receive any information about the car.
He did, however, confirm that the model is definitely on the division’s wish list for Australia.
"If we do take that five-door then we would be interested in the three-door as well.”
The all-new second-gen Hyundai i20 is due to make its official debut on October 4 at the Paris motor show, where it will be joined by the recently teased Hyundai H350 commercial van.