The South Korean automaker has gained a global following thanks to affordable, well-equipped and “honest” models, but as the company evolves to become a true mainstream carmaker, the range of cars on offer truly diversifies now.
The latest example will be a sporty three-door coupe version of the recently revealed new i20 – a model variant that Hyundai hopes it will attract a new type of customer and buoy its European market share in the intensely fought subcompact segment.
Before the revamp of the i20 model, Hyundai lagged behind its rivals, with the model only accounting for one-fifth of the sales total in the region in 2013. The situation turned even worse this year, as the i20’s six month sales tallied only 40,661units, ranking in 12th place in the segment, behind established players such as the Skoda Fabia or the Fiat Punto.
Hyundai recently invested in the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Izmir, Turkey, where the South Koreans also produce the smaller i10 model. There, the five-door i20 and three-door coupe version would be manufactured on an all-new platform; with both models being designed and engineered in Europe, at Hyundai’s regional headquarters outside Frankfurt, Germany. The three-door i20 will adopt a common trait of European compact sporty derivatives, shedding the usual “clone the five-door with just three doors” approach common in the subcompact segment.
Via Automotive News Europe