Much of Hyundai’s 2015 success has been down to red-hot deals such as $19,990 driveaway i30 autos. If you combined i30 sales with Elantra (the sedan version) they would be the second most popular small car by the slimmest of margins (to Toyota’s Corolla). The ix35 has also been a hit, although transitioning to its replacement wearing the revived Tucson nameplate required additional marketing efforts.
The biggest news for Hyundai in 2016 is an all-new Elantra. Fresh metal and underpinnings should translate to a big step up for the small sedan. Hyundai could also benefit from its rumoured Prius rival that will bring some high-tech petrol-electric goodness to the brand. Don’t expect big sales figures, but it could shine a techno spotlight on the rest of the range.
Hyundai’s been playing games registering cars that don’t yet have buyers. It’s a short-term way to boost the numbers, but generally causes indigestion clearing stock, typically at a discount. Its cheapest model, the i20, has been discontinued, leaving a huge hole for the repositioned Accent to plug. And no ute or small SUV, plus slow-selling fringe models (Genesis, Sonata, i40, Veloster) makes life tough.
Occasionally procrastinates, but a hard worker. With not much large-volume fresh metal on the horizon, a sales downturn looms for the brand. With Holden snapping at its heels, Hyundai could well lose third place, experiencing its biggest sales drop in years.
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