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Sourcing switch rings changes for i30 hatch

Hyundai not taking i30 hatch orders while Aus switches from Korean to Czech sourcing

25 Sep 2023

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has instructed dealers to stop taking orders for the popular i30 hatchback as it transitions all production of the model to the Nošovice plant in the Czech Republic which also manufactures the i30 N hot hatch.


Exchange rates and shipping costs will likely mean the end of entry-level i30 hatch variants and specification changes will include a European-market mild hybrid drivetrain, new colour palette and likely technology upgrades such as Hyundai’s Bluelink connectivity suite.


Speaking at a media briefing in Melbourne last week, HMCA chief operating officer John Kett said production of the i30 hatch would soon end in Korea, which had been supplying the model exclusively to the Australian market for some time.


GoAuto understands that Hyundai has made an exception to its usual five-year passenger car product lifecycle for the strong-selling i30 hatch, which will receive a second facelift to keep it relatively fresh until its battery-electric vehicle (BEV) successor is ready for launch around the middle of this decade.


“We're the only remaining country that takes the i30 hatch out of Korea, so the initial plan was always to end production in Korea and start producing in Europe by Q1, maybe April,” said Mr Kett.


“The problem is that April is moved to, say, June/July but the deadline for closing out the factory in Korea hasn't changed. So we'll stop producing the i30 in Korea in December and stop selling it as in retail delivery in March.


“Unfortunately, we've got to pull orders now because we have now sold all the way through to the first quarter of next year. So the bulletin will be going out just to let people in our network know that you can't take any more orders until probably somewhere close to May/June/July next year.”


The 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with 48-volt mild hybrid system develops 117kW and 253Nm, making it less powerful than the current entry-level 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit but with almost as much torque as the 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo of N-Line variants.


In Europe, this engine is available with a clutch-by-wire manual transmission but Australia will get the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Unlikely for this market is the 95kW/172Nm three-cylinder engine option offered in Europe.


Asked whether the shift to European sourcing would impact prices, Mr Kett admitted that the exchange rate has deteriorated.


“Depending on the exchange (rate), whether we can access the same price points or not is probably challenging,” he said.


“So we're just going through that process at the moment; when we first planned it exchange rates were a bit different.”


Euro-delivered i30 hatches are available in three more colours than the six currently offered in Australia, including Dark Knight, Silky Bronze, Sunset Red, Engine Red, Stellar Blue, Platinum Silver and Olivine Grey.


Only Polar White and Phantom Black are familiar to the Korean-sourced cars, the rest being unique to cars produced at the Czech plant.


Mr Kett said that during the i30 hatch hiatus, customers would be encouraged to consider the Venue light SUV, Kona small SUV and i30 sedan, all of which have price overlaps with various i30 hatch variants.


He added that there was the potential to crank up supply for these models for Australia in order to make up for the absence of i30 hatch volume.


The introduction of hybrid i30 sedans early next year could also prove popular.


Combined sales of the i30 hatch and sedan put the nameplate at the top of Hyundai’s tree in Australia to the end of August this year, with 14,844 deliveries. Closely following these small-segment passenger cars is the Tucson medium SUV with 14,495 sold, up 28.7 per cent year-on-year compared to a 4.1 per cent slide for the i30.


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