Hyundai Australia is at risk of entering 2020 without a cut-price light car once stock of the massively popular $15,990 drive-away Accent hatch runs out before the end of this year.
The ‘current’ Accent sold in Australia is actually now out of production, but Hyundai ordered a sufficient final-run supply from Korea to keep its dealers stocked for the time being.
What comes here to replace it from next year is an issue that needs addressing, since the Accent is the top-selling light car in the land with about 20 per cent market share this year. In 2018 it accounted for 15,675 sales, about 17 per cent of the brand’s total sales volume.
There are various options on the table of course, but all paths have issues.
One, the new-generation ‘HC’ Accent, is now aimed at, and made for, higher-volume left-hand drive markets. A second path, the ageing European-market i20 pictured above, has repeatedly been deemed too expensive to source and sell here profitably, given the slim margins in this entry corner of the market.
The third option is the most likely, and that is offering a suitably affordable and pared-back version of a new small crossover SUV model called the Hyundai Venue, which we know will arrive in the second half of 2019 following its world premiere a few weeks from now.
Based on what we’ve been told by Hyundai Australia, the Venue will sit beneath the already-small Kona, which kicks off at $23,500. The aim will surely be to (at the very least) match the cheapest Hyundai beyond the Accent, which is the $19,990 (plus on-road costs) i30 Go hatch.
Whether the Venue can be as affordable as the Accent is the real question though, and one that seems unlikely. If it isn’t, then the price of entry to the Hyundai brand will subsequently rise, which won’t help the company’s high-volume targets.
A Hyundai Australia spokesperson told us recently that: “we don’t have a direct light car replacement for Accent, however Venue will help recover some of the lost volume.”
“Pricing and specification for Australia has not yet been confirmed,” he added, when asked directly if it’ll be sold sub-$20,000.