Could a new name for Hyundai’s sedan catapult the i30 to become the nation’s best-selling passenger car nameplate next year?
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A simple change to the badge on the boot lid could see the Hyundai i30 become Australia’s top-selling passenger car next year.

While the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger utes remain clear market leaders overall, the battle for passenger car honours has traditionally been between former Number Ones the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.

However, both the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 have been under siege by the Hyundai i30 and Kia Cerato.

Last month, the Hyundai i30 overtook the Toyota Corolla for the 19th time since 2010.

But the Hyundai i30 is gearing up to challenge the Toyota Corolla in next year’s annual sales race with a simple name change.

Sales figures for the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Kia Cerato, Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza include both sedan and hatch tallies.

However, the Hyundai i30 has been fighting with one arm tight behind its back because the sedan equivalent has been sold under the Elantra name.

The arrival this week of the new generation Hyundai i30 sedan is about to change that. From now on, Hyundai will be allowed to include sales of both the hatch and sedan variants in its official tally.

The Hyundai i30 hatch and Elantra sedan when combined have outsold the Toyota Corolla twice in the past four years.

While the Corolla has an unassailable lead in the 2020 passenger-car sales race, next year could be a different story.

So far this year the Toyota Corolla is 3400 sales ahead of the Hyundai i30 and Elantra when both nameplates are combined.

But Hyundai has sold, on average, 4200 Elantras each year for the past four years. If that trend continues, the Hyundai i30 could notch up a narrow victory in Australia over the world’s biggest selling small car.

Hyundai Australia spokesman Bill Thomas said: “We don’t have a sales target to share publicly, but we expect the i30 sedan to sell well. The i30 has been central to Hyundai’s success and is almost a brand in itself. It will be great to offer customers a choice of body styles under the one badge.”

The Hyundai i30 sedan is still sold as an Elantra in the US and is only called i30 in the Australian market.

The Hyundai i30 hatch has been Hyundai Australia’s top selling car every year since it has been on sale, except in 2007 when it was introduced part way through the year.