If you’re running Hyundai’s car division, you have to be terrified right now. Sheer horror.
In Hyundai’s native Korea, corporate cousin Kia has taken up much of Hyundai’s slack because its designs are more classically handsome, whereas Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language has been seen as radical in the incredibly conservative country. On top of that, free-trade agreements have allowed German, Japanese, and American automakers to slowly encroach on space that was once seen as untouchable.
Back in the day, if you wanted a luxury car in Korea you bought a Hyundai Azera (Grandeur over there) or maybe a Genesis. Want one now? Pick between an Alpheon (Buick Lacrosse), BMW, or any number of cars from outside the country. Say you want a small, sporty luxury car, what do you get? Probably a BMW 3 Series. Or if you’re a real Korean gentleman, you wait a few years and pick up a new Hyundai sports sedan. Yup, Hyundai will be building one for the 2016 model year or so, and it’ll be headed to the U.S.
Charted in the changes compiled by Automotive News, the new small sedan will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 3.3-liter V-6 as motivation, taking the battle to Germany’s best sports sedan. It is said to be inspired by the HCD-14 concept car from the Detroit Auto Show, only smaller, with a coupe-like roof line. It will complement the midsize Genesis sedan and full-size Equus luxury car, completing Hyundai’s lineup from the bottom at $15,000 with the Hyundai Accent to the top with the $69,000 Equus.
Other changes making their way through the Hyundai lineup will be the heavily re-engineered 2015 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan debuting next year, a wholly redesigned Hyundai Genesis and Genesis Coupe, which we anticipate to be dynamically better than the current models, and a new Tucson compact crossover along with a hydrogen fuel-cell version for California.
Of course, plans could change, and there are other models getting redesigned or replaced by 2016 like the Accent, Elantra, and Azera that are still way off in the distance to speculate about. U.S. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik has stated that a sub-Tucson crossover may be needed to compete against the current and incoming crop of subcompact vehicles like the Honda Fit crossover, Buick Encore, and potential Toyota crossover. There may also be a case for a pickup truck eventually, as “chicken tax” tariffs will be completely lifted between the U.S. and South Korea by 2020.
It was thought that after a flood of new products from Hyundai not long ago, there would be a dearth for several years. Now, it appears, Hyundai is just locking, stocking, and reloading for yet another pour of new cars and crossovers.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)