Whether Australian buyers will be offered the opportunity to buy the latest versions of Hyundai’s entry-level models remains unclear, with the brand still unable to confirm if it will sell the new-generation Hyundai i10 and Hyundai i20.
Hyundai Australia chief operating officer John Elsworth spoke about the potential for the new small car pairing at the launch of the Hyundai i30 Series II model this week, where he made it clear that supply wouldn’t be an issue – rather pricing and positioning would be.
“We could have them tomorrow based on a production perspective,” he said of the new models, which are being built in the brand’s plant in Turkey.
“With i10 and i20, the new generation cars are coming out of Europe,” he said, as the brand has ruled out taking the versions of the new-generation i10 and i20 that are built in India.
“It’s a very challenging business case at that end of the market, purely because it’s based around the euro. And the euro is proving to be a very challenging currency to work with,” Elsworth stated.
“We’re still working on the product plan. It’s a work in progress for us.
“Our CEO was in Korea last month starting discussions, and I’d say in the next few months there’ll be a decision.”
If the company can’t get the cars in at the right price, it remains to be seen what could happen for the brand at the light-sized end of the market.
The existing i20, pictured above – which is built in India – “has a production end date”, according to the brand.
Another option could be for Hyundai to drop the price and alter the range of the existing Accent model (pictured above), which is built in South Korea.
That car – which is sold here as a five-door hatch and four-door sedan – would likely need to drop from its current $16,990 plus on-road costs base price down towards $13,990 (which is the common transaction price for entry-level versions of the i20). That could be a hard pill to swallow for the brand.