Hyundai has announced it will launch an all-new global sub-compact SUV in the second half of 2015, and while details are very scarce, we do know one thing — its name.
The new sub-Tucson high-riding crossover will be called the Hyundai Creta, derived from the large Greek Island of Crete, which in its heyday was a trade hub that connected Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Creta will be the first sub-compact SUV model to be developed by Hyundai Motor. Reflecting the changing face of the global automotive market, the global launch will start in India — just as it did with the rival Ford EcoSport.
This also suggests it will be made in the subcontinent alongside the Hyundai i20.
Hyundai is being rather mysterious about additional information, though it does say that it will be a crucial part of its continued expansion.
“Creta will be an influential global model for the Hyundai Motor brand in one of the fastest-growing vehicle segments, helping the company to reach out to many more consumers in new and established international markets,” the company said.
You can rightly expect the Hyundai Creta to share much with the Chinese-market ix25 (pictured at top), which at at 4270mm long, 1780mm wide, 1630mm tall and riding on a 2590mm wheelbase is dimensionally similar to the Holden Trax. Expect elements also of the Indian i20 Active.
From an Australian perspective, Hyundai Australia PR chief Bill Thomas said it was “too early to say whether we’ll get this car or not”.
Given the fact the Creta will be made for global markets — in other words, made in right-hand-drive — and given the sharp growth in small SUV sales in recent years (up about 30.0 per cent this year alone), it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t.
Furthermore, the new Tucson that launches next month (pictured above) will be a larger car than the outgoing ix35, creating an ever larger gap in Hyundai’s local range. A rival for the Trax, plus the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, is an obvious requirement.
It might be that the Hyundai global announcement took Hyundai Australia a little by surprise, given the fact its chief operating officer John Elsworth told us in April that the new baby SUV remained a few years away from fruition.
The addition of new models to net incremental sales is important for fourth-placed Hyundai if it wants to keep up with top importer Mazda and climb ahead of Holden (it has 30,823 YTD,1030 behind Holden).
Pictured above:2014 Hyundai Intrado concept.
As we have reported, the company’s local arm is having difficulties sourcing a replacement for its ageing i20 light car because the Turkish-made versions are proving expensive and the Indian-made ones are not market-suitable.
Another area needed for Hyundai Australia to net incremental growth is commercial vehicles. As we reported recently, the new Santa Cruz ute concept could enter production based on the Tucson, but whether it is to be made available beyond the US remains unclear.
Updates on the local future of this trio of vehicles will be reported as they come to hand.