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A Hyundai for everyone

The Euro-focused i30 hatch is already in showrooms, with the smaller i10 and i20 also under consideration, and now an i30 station wagon has emerged as a potential contender in the family-car category Down Under.

The i30 Estate will go on sale in Europe at the start of April and is being assessed for its potential here.

Hyundai Motor Australia is worried Australian demand for small wagons is falling, and the i30 could be overwhelmed by all-wheel-drive rivals, including the Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail, but is still studying the car.

“It's in the product planning process,” the director of sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor Company Australia Kevin McCann says.

“The wagon is about to undergo the usual program we undertake when we are considering a new vehicle. We have to look at it. There is not a huge demand.”

He says there could be stronger demand for the smaller models in the European line-up of Hyundai models, all with names starting in i, as they are better looking than the Korean cars and are also designed for mature motor customers.

“We're also looking at the i10 and the i20,” McCann says. “There is no confirmation yet on the i10, or the new i20, which will be coming out later in the year.”

But he stresses Hyundai is able to pick and choose from a wide portfolio as the Korean carmaker is now spreading its new-model design and development across Korea, Europe and the US. The Korean models will continue much the same as today, the European cars will be smaller and have European body designs, while the US focus will be on the new rear-wheel drive Genesis models led by a large luxury sedan and including a new coupe and convertible.

“We are a global company with production plants in Korea, the US and Europe, so we will continue to manufacture global products to match the markets,” McCann says.

“You cannot say some are more suitable than others. With the i30, we also made modifications based on Australian needs.”

McCann says the next Euro car for Australia is likely to be the i10.

“The i10 is already out and about,” he says.

“It was launched last year. The i20 will not be (released) until later this year.”

The i10 is smaller than the Getz and, though designed for Europe, is being made in India.

It should be priced below $13,000 when, and if, it makes it to local showrooms.