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AUSTRALIA’S NO.1 AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY JOURNAL EDITION 1028 – JUL 1, 2020
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Road ahead Hyundai forecasts sales recovery with 18 new models over next 18 months, but industry braces for 20 per cent decline this year
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By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS
HYUNDAI is counting on 18 all- new or facelifted models to be launched in Australia over the next 18 months to help trade its way to recovery in the aftermath of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic recession.
While cautious about detailing the company’s targeted sales and financial turnaround after suffering a 34 per cent sales downturn in the first five months of this year, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief operating officer John Kett is confident that a dynamic and proactive approach with an appealing, innovative and relevant model line-up will assist in rebuilding momentum.
He also said HMCA was currently anticipating the overall industry would suffer a sales decline of about 20 per cent this calendar year, taking new-vehicle registrations down to about 850,000.
“When we add up all of our products, and think about how they all succeeded, then we’ll be able to really hold our scale and really hold
our scale strongly next year,” Mr Kett told GoAuto at an HMCA future- model briefing in Sydney last week.
“When we talk about the scale of our volume for next year, it will still be largely based around the i30, Kona and Tucson, and to a lesser degree the Santa Fe and Palisade (flagship SUV due late 2020).”
Three of the key volume sellers – the i30 small car, Kona small SUV and Santa Fe medium/large SUV – will each receive a significant facelift and upgrades by the end of this year or by mid-2021 for Kona, while the Tucson mid-size SUV will be completely redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up in the first quarter of next year as it attempts to regain ground lost to the runaway-success Toyota RAV4.
Furthermore, much bolder replacements for the Elantra small sedan and Sonata mid-size passenger car will surface in the final quarter of this year, with the former switching to the i30 nameplate to more closely align it with Hyundai’s best-seller.
Continued next pageHyundai 45 concept
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Continued from previous page Rounding out the rollcall of 18
newcomers by the end of 2021 will be an additional eco model to sit above the electrified Ioniq range, potentially based on the retro-themed all-electric Hyundai 45 compact crossover concept that debuted at the Frankfurt motor show last September.
Overseas executives have confirmed a production version of the 45 is coming, followed by an electric sportscar based on the Prophecy shown earlier this year.
A host of mostly unconfirmed performance models wearing the N-Line or hardcore N moniker are also anticipated, including the all-new i20 N hot hatch just announced for launch early next year, as well as expected racier grades for Kona, Tucson and even Santa Fe, according to overseas reports.
Mr Kett said that with the new- model deluge kicking off later this
year, HMCA entered 2020 preparing for only a modest sales decline – due in part to the loss of volume with the demise of the robust Accent
light car, which ended up dominating its segment despite being older than most rivals like the Mazda2. However, that was before COVID-19 struck.
“Initially we thought the market would be down 10
per cent year-on-year as we went into this year,” he said.
“We were somewhat hopeful that, based on the sheer macroeconomic indicators that were suggested to come into the market say in the second half of the year, that we might see some of that decline disappear, meaning we would have exited 2020 not quite 10 per cent down, and that would have been a positive time for us because we were always launching our portfolio towards the end of the year.”
After the horror first half to the year that had pushed the overall industry down 24 per cent to the end
of May, Mr Kett believes the market will recover slightly but still finish the calendar year at about 20 per cent down over 2019, from just under 1,063,000 units to about 850,000.
“We’ve got to the point now, where we understand COVID-19 the best we can, that any year-on-
year or accumulated year-on-year difference that is greater than 10 per cent we probably attribute to COVID-19 and everything else to the sheer structural challenges that the industry was facing (prior to that),” he said.
“But we are doing it month-by-
month. We just had a conversation yesterday, just reassessing where the industry is heading, what segments it is heading in, to understand the circumstances we are operating in.”
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Palisade i30 Sedan
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By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS
HYUNDAI has confirmed that the Palisade large SUV will launch in Australia by the end of this year.
To be positioned above the smaller Santa Fe that also resides in this segment – and which is in line for a substantial facelift at about the same time – the Palisade will be offered in both seven- and eight- seat configurations, making it a unique proposition against similarly American-influenced large SUVs such as the Toyota Kluger, Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-9.
Speaking to GoAuto at the LX2- series Palisade announcement in Sydney last week, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief operating officer John Kett revealed that getting the Palisade over the line for Australia was no mean feat,
as we will be the only right-hand- drive market in the world offering any significant volume potential for the series.
“It’s a real credit to the local team here to convince an organisation to convert a car that was not going to be right-hand drive,” he said.
“The fact that we’ve been able to have the corporation to develop right- hand drive for a largely small market as ours is a strong indication of faith in our portfolio and the marketplace.”
Pricing details are still to be revealed, but expect a 10 to 15 per cent jump over the Santa Fe, meaning the base model will most likely start from about $50,000 plus on-road costs, stretching to around $75,000 for the top-line version.
Two engines have been confirmed for Australia, including a variation of
the 217kW/355Nm 3.8-litre petrol V6 similar to that offered in the original Genesis luxury sedan, driving the front wheels via an eight-speed torque- converter automatic transmission.
The other is Hyundai’s venerable 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, which in the Santa Fe produces
147kW of power and 440Nm of torque and similarly combines with an eight-speed automatic.
As with the Santa Fe’s recently revealed 3.5-litre V6 model, right- hand-drive under-bonnet packaging issues concerning the power steering, engine manifold and AWD
systems mean that only the diesel will offer all-wheel drive.
Dimensionally, the Palisade sits firmly between the best-selling Kluger and CX-9.
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Palisade locked in
Hyundai confirms flagship large SUV with eight-seat availability will launch in Australia later this year
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