“If you combine the small and medium segments for 2014, the ix35 is the third biggest seller after Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5,” said Hyundai Australia public relations manager Bill Thomas.
Hyundai’s ix35 is currently (and somewhat strangely) classified in the Small SUV segment despite its close relative, the Kia Sportage, slotting into the Medium SUV segment.
“The ix35 did extremely well in the Small SUV segment in which it’s categorised,” Thomas said. “At 17,922 units for 2014, the next best-seller was the Subaru XV with 11,539.”
With the ix35 the second most popular model in the Hyundai lineup after the i30, the SUV represents no less than 18 per cent of the South Korean brand’s total volume in Australia - and the company expects its replacement to be just as important, if not more.
“The new Tucson will be a critical car in a fast-growing segment,” Thomas said.
“We expect Tucson to exceed ix35’s sales performance - of course,” he went on to say. “The new Tucson will go on sale in the third quarter of 2015 and we will source the vehicle from both the Czech Republic and Korea.”
The return of the Tucson nameplate illustrates the global importance of the model for the Korean brand. Sourcing the vehicle from two manufacturing facilities reflects the Australian demand for the model, with the Australian arm anticipating sales figures that will outstrip the capabilities of one production facility.