GERMANY: Hyundai announces next wave of new models
Hyundai Motor Europe design chief Thomas Bürkle shows off the new i30 Turbo, one of several new sports models that will replace the slow-selling and just axed Veloster coupe
Things are hotting up at Hyundai Motor which will introduce its fastest production model yet with the arrival of the new i30 Turbo next year along with a coupe version of the smaller i20.
Design chief Thomas Bürkle described the turbo model as "grown-up and sporty", powered by a 186hp, 1.6-litre turbocharged engine capable of more than 125mph. It forms part of a refreshed i30 line which, since launch in 2007, has sold more than 600,000 units and was the first Hyundai ever to be short listed for the European Car of the Year Award.
It is part of the latest wave of new or updated models being introduced across Europe next year which also includes a facelift for the larger i40 saloon and estate [wagon] plus the launch of the H350 multi-purpose van.
These follow this year's launches of the redesigned i10 city car and larger i20 in the all-important B-segment, as well as the big Genesis executive express sedan.
The new i20 coupe will be an addition to the range which Bürkle said has a stand-alone design with a more pronounced grille and rear end and more sharply-raked A and C pillars along with a sporty, sloping roof line.
Hyundai is promising 22 new models or derivatives between 2012 and 2017 under its 'Product Momentum' strategy but that is only part of the story, according to Roland Hoveling, head of dealer development. A new look for dealers is being rolled out across Europe, starting with a flagship outlet close to the company's European headquarters in Frankfurt.
About 200 dealers are expected to have the new look by the end of 2015 while the network makeover is scheduled to be finished by 2018.
Hoveling said: "The products are right, we now need to improve the customer experience and the new dealer experience is aimed at customers being able to buy a car the way they want and that means embracing the online element. That's where most of the research is now done."
Thomas Schmid, vice-president of sales at Hyundai Europe, added: "We still have work to do in raising awareness and we are bringing new levels of premium refinement to all our models. The aim is to deliver value beyond customers' expectations."