Clearly, it was a big day for Hyundai in Dusseldorf, Germany last Thursday, where it put on a double world premiere with the all-new i30 N Performance hatch, as well a brand-new model in the C-segment, the i30 Fastback.
The Korean automotive giant also used the occasion to outline the brand’s proposed domination of the European car market, when Thomas Schmid, Senior Vice President & COO Hyundai Motor Europe, told a large gathering of journalists, “Hyundai intends to become the top selling Asian car company in Europe by 2021."
“Our newest products are a significant driver for our ambition to launch 30 new products and derivatives across Europe by 2021, which is why we are calling it the road to 2021," he said.
Europe is a massive market for Hyundai, and with current production capacity sitting at 600,000 cars per annum, the company is clearly expecting success. Take the Tucson, the fastest selling model, which has sold more than 250,000 units since 2015.
Hyundai is also selling cars online, as it strives to appeal to new buyer groups in a bid to becoming more customer centric. In fact, in Europe and the UK, 50 per cent of customers at digital retail stores buy their cars online at home.
“With the latest digital platform, we sold over 100 cars in just a few weeks”, said Schmid. “We want to make things easy for people, which is why we are number one for customer satisfaction in Europe. And to that we have devised four cornerstones as a business strategy.
“Number one is our SUV line-up. Two, is future mobility, [and] three is what we call our DNA models: the ‘I’ family, while four is our high emotion models, N.”
“Our SUV family is highly successful, and enriches our brand and make it more desirable. And, of course, our all-new model, the Kona, is our fourth and most compact SUV and is currently launching in many markets around the world. But in 2018, we will also launch an electric version of the Kona.
“In the future, we will expand our SUV line-up with new products in new segments.
“With our second cornerstone, future mobility, we are at the forefront of the Eco car segment. In Europe, we are selling more fuel-cell cars than all other brands combined. But again, in 2018, we’ll launch a new fuel-cell SUV that will use a dedicated platform.
“Hyundai will also launch its first pure electric car-sharing program in a major European metropolitan area. The ‘I’ family represents the core of the Hyundai brand in Europe, as well as a vitally important sales driver," Schmid said.
“Our newest model is now a third-generation success story, with almost one million units sold. And we have made massive progress in connectivity, interior design and driving dynamics.
“And, in terms of safety, the latest i30 is top in its class – equipped with the best safety package available today. It’s also the first in its segment to score five stars under Euro NCAP's new and revised ratings scheme.”
“It’s also about design, which has become the number one reason why customers choose a Hyundai”, added Schmid.
“The fourth and final cornerstone centres both on design and performance. ‘N’ puts the emotion in our brand. And today, we are not only revealing our first ‘N’ car, but also an entirely new body type for the C-segment; the i30 fastback.