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Hyundai Getz in reinforcements

On the way: Hyundai's i20 will head Hyundai's city-car blitz from July.

New city-car traffic jam as Hyundai Getz new i20, i10 and Veloster, and next Accent

25 May 2010

HYUNDAI will cease production of its eight-year-old Getz, Australia’s top-selling light-car, in October.

However, the burgeoning Korean car giant is expected to stockpile enough examples of the Getz in Australia – the only country it which it remains on sale – until it is effectively replaced by the brand’s newest and smallest global model, the i10 hatchback, around January.

Officially, Hyundai says its all-new sub-light model, which along with July’s larger i20 hatch is built in India, is yet to receive federal regulatory approval here and remains under evaluation for Australia and the company’s smallest global model.

But GoAuto has learned the pint-sized i10, a nameplate Hyundai has already registered in Australia, is all but locked in for a first-quarter local release here in 2011.

The demise of the Getz, which opens the Hyundai range here and is available for $13,990 driveaway, leaves room for the i10 five-door if it can be profitable with pricing from under about $13,000.

“We are still studying the price, specification and positioning,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia chief executive Edward Lee last week. “And whether we need it here.”

The i10 would rival Suzuki’s pioneering Indian-built super-compact hatch here, the Alto, at just 3565mm long overall. It is available with both 1.1 and 1.2-litre petrol engines and a 1.1-litre turbo-diesel overseas, where Hyundai has even revealed a zero-emissions battery-electric version.

1 center imageFrom top: Hyundai i10, Verna, Veloster concept and Elantra.

HMCA has attempted to move Hyundai more upmarket with larger, more expensive new models this year, including the ix35 and i45, and further complicating the i10’s potential positioning in Australia is the next-generation Accent – known elsewhere as the Verna.

We understand the yet-to-appear hatchback version of the redesigned Accent/Verna sedan – first seen in four-door guise for the Chinese domestic market at the Beijing motor show in April and due to undergo local development testing in Australia soon – is also slated for local release some time in 2011, when it could wear i15 badges.

The outgoing Accent, which was discontinued in January this year after HMCA elected not to import the facelifted model, was last priced from $15,490 as a three-door hatchback, although a sub-$17,000 Accent sedan was also on offer – both powered by an 82kW 1.6-litre petrol engine.

Expected to be priced upstream of the Getz from about $15,000 when it goes on sale on July 17, the i20 will – as we’ve reported – be available here in three and five-door body styles, both powered by 73.5kW 1.4-litre and 91kW 1.6-litre petrol engines matched with five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions.

HMCA also received Australian Design Rule approval for an oil-burning i20 – powered by a 66kW 1.4-litre turbo-diesel mated to six-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions – as early as May last year.

However, as with the 2.0-litre petrol version of last week’s all-new i45 medium sedan, the ADR-certified i20 DSL is likely to join the line-up at a later stage only if required.

Hyundai’s top-selling model in Australia is the fast-selling i30, which has attracted more than 11,000 customers to April this year, but Getz sales are up 31.5 per cent to 7672 so far in 2010, giving the entry-level Korean car a dominant 17.3 per cent share of the mainstream light-car sales segment.

Meantime, while month’s new entry-level 1.6-litre i30 opens Hyundai’s small-hatch range at $19,390, the all-2.0-litre Elantra sedan line-up now starts at $19,990 but will be replaced by an all-new model – revealed at Korea’s Busan motor show last month and likely to be dubbed the i35 here – in the second quarter of next year.

Like the superseded Accent, the current Elantra went on sale here in 2006.

Making even more of a traffic jam for Hyundai in terms of launching all-new small cars in 2011 – is the Accent-sized Veloster coupe concept, which is odds-on to also arrive next year as a cut-price replacement for the discontinued Tiburon coupe.

If Hyundai’s new alpha-numeric ‘i’ badging convention holds true, expect the all-new Veloster-based Hyundai coupe to wear i25 badges and a pricetag of less than $20,000.

Next year will also see the first of several new derivatives of Hyundai’s Sonata replacement, the i45 medium sedan, including Europe’s unique five-door hatch and wagon models with diesel power, a two-door coupe perhaps with turbocharged petrol power and a petrol-electric version to rival Toyota’s Camry Hybrid (see separate story).

Further afield, last year’s ix-Metro sub-compact SUV concept is also expected to morph into a production model to be positioned below the new ix35. Hyundai has registered both the ix15 and ix25 trademarks in Australia, where the all-new mini-crossover could become Korea’s answer to Japan’s upcoming ASX from Mitsubishi and the Nissan Juke.

Similarly, Hyundai’s next-generation Santa Fe could wear ix45, ix55, ix65 or even ix75 nameplates – all of which have been registered by Hyundai in Australia.

Hyundai also owns the i50, i55, i60 and i70 passenger car names here, but the i45 will likely remain the largest Hyundai model on sale in Australia.

Our sources indicate Hyundai models such as the award-winning rear-wheel drive Genesis large sedan and coupe – and even larger Equus luxury sedan – will eventually be sold under a separate brand here to compete directly with the likes of Toyota’s Lexus, Nissan’s Infiniti and Honda’s Acura.

Despite speculation to the contrary, however, both US-oriented models will remain left-hand drive propositions beyond their upcoming midlife facelift, precluding them from sale in Australia until at least 2013, when next-generation versions will emerge for worldwide consumption in both left and right-steering configurations.

What’s coming from Hyundai:
i20 light hatch range July
i10 sub-light hatch range Q1 2011
i35 (Elantra) small sedan Q2 2011
i25 (Verna/Accent) light hatch 2011
i15 (Veloster) coupe 2011
i40 five-door mid-sizer 2011
i45 (Sonata) hybrid sedan 2011
i45 (Sonata) turbo coupe 2011
i30 hatch replacement 2012
i40 wagon 2012
ix25 compact SUV 2012
New Genesis coupe/sedan 2013
New Equus sedan 2013
All-new utility 2014

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