Hyundai Australia is expected to announce pricing for the next-generation i30 shortly and prices are expected to go up as the company chases a richer product mix.
Speaking to media at the 2017 Hyundai i30 launch in Korea, Hyundai chief operating officer, Scott Grant, suggested Hyundai would seek to recover the cost of added value in i30 pricing.
"We benchmark the Corolla and Mazda 3 all the time. That's where the action is in this segment, we know where we sit. Would we charge more than them? Sure. I think there's value in the new car versus the car that's in its final year of operation," he said.
"The technology and other aspects of the car and specification, we believe that this type of car is a step change at this level and with the standard specification this cost needs to be recovered at some stage."
Given the success of i30 has been billed on value and pricing in the past, Hyundai now plans to increase that mix to push buyers further up the product tree where margins are higher and brand perception is better.
"We don't have a particular desire to be more premium with this car by any means. It's a car that is a terrific car. In my view, it's a better car than the previous car, which was very successful. Like any market segment it has a certain price point and range. Customers in that segment have a certain expectation and we need to meet those requirements," said Grant.
"I think our mix will richen. We may sell less at the entry level and that may mean the mix changes at that price point [in reference to $19,990 drive-away pricing], but I think there's a lot of opportunity in mid and higher grades that have been flowing into other products. We have been strong in the entry level, but perhaps not as strong as others in mid and high levels. There's opportunity to compete a bit more in those segments."
Hyundai is still working toward finalising pricing for the local i30 range, with model specifications and features yet to be confirmed. We do know the car will be available with three engines, 13 exterior colours and three interior trim colours.
If Grant's views are anything to go by, the days of discounting and sharp driveaway pricing may be a thing of the past for Hyundai.