Hyundai plans to introduce 11 new or updated models in the next 11 months – its biggest product blitz since the brand was established in Australia in 1986.
The massive new-model roll-out is designed to reverse a four-and-a-half year sales slide, the biggest slump for the brand since the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago.
The cavalcade of cars will start with one of the most advanced vehicles on the road, although it will be sold in relatively small numbers.
The first 20 examples of the Hyundai Nexo hydrogen car are due to be delivered to the ACT Government in the coming months as part of a multi-million-dollar trial of fuel cell vehicles.
The Hyundai Nexo is the first hydrogen-powered car to be certified for road use in Australia, although for now it is not available to private buyers and the first batch of 20 cars have been deployed in conjunction with a new pioneering refuelling station in the ACT.
The full-size Hyundai Palisade SUV – a rival to the Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Pathfinder in the US – will go on sale in Australia later this year as a seven- or eight-seater with a choice of petrol and diesel power (see story here).
It will be joined by the end of this year by the new generation Hyundai i30 sedan (the Elantra, pictured above, has adopted the name of the hatchback to streamline the range), a facelifted Hyundai i30 hatch, new-generation Hyundai Sonata sedan and a facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe.
The Hyundai i20N hot hatch is expected to arrive in 2021 (see separate story here) as well as visual and technical updates to the Hyundai i30N hatch and Hyundai i30N fastback, both of which will get the option of an eight-speed dual-clutch auto alongside the six-speed manual.
There are other cars or variants said to be in the works that would bring Hyundai’s tally to 18 new models in 18 months, but the company elected to keep them under wraps for now.
The boss of Hyundai Australia, John Kett, said although the company was initially slow to fill some of the gaps in the SUV market, it was now doubling down to make up lost ground.
While Hyundai Australia said it is “not abandoning passenger cars” it has seen “shifts in our business … towards SUVs”, in line with the rest of the market.
MORE: Hyundai news and reviews