As we have reported, the Hyundai i30 has been the nation’s favourite vehicle nationwide four months in succession, and recently overtook the Toyota HiLux as the top-selling vehicle in the country year-to-date (YTD).
However, HMCA chef operating officer Scott Grant told us this week that the supply tap would start to slow as the year wanes, with the Korean factory winding down to accommodate the brand-new i30 coming on stream from October — but not due in Australia until about April, 2017.
“There’s free supply in the next quarter, then it tightens…” he said.
When asked if it was a distinct goal for Hyundai to top the sales charts with the i30, rather than a welcome side-effect, Grant said: “Not really. We haven't set that target, we don't discuss it internally. It has created that opportunity, and we’re happy to say it’s the best-selling car.
“[But] I’d be surprised if it’s in that position at year’s end… I think it'll tighten a fair bit later in the year.”
This prompted the question of why Hyundai was discounting so heavily then ($19,990 drive-away with a free automatic gearbox and Apple CarPlay for the base car), to which Grant replied: “The car’s in its fifth year of production, so effectively the amortisation, the major expenses of the model have achieved their target.
"Cost-wise, the car is coming out of its expensive stage, it’s full lifecycle more than achieved the product plan, so the pure cost very much now under control. That’s a big factor,” he said.
Grant also said the lack of a small SUV offering below the Tucson was an issue that forced HMCA to nudge more prospectives into the i30, which in June made up more than half its sales. Hyundai's answer to the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V is due in Australia later in 2017.
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