The fourth-best selling passenger car brand in China is Hyundai Motor Co. after Volkswagen, Nissan and Toyota. It lost its market share in the first half of 2012 to these names and is now bucking up to gain back its lost share. Hyundai is producing a car which will be sold only in China and would be targeted towards the middle-class families who cannot afford big cars. There is a huge gap between the prices of a low-priced compact and the top-end model. Customers from middle class, who have just started earning good money, still find it tough to switch from the low-cost model to the top-end one. Thus, the company is manufacturing something that would fill the gap and will be priced mid-way.
Talks are around that Hyundai is making “Sonata-lite”, a shrunken version of the Sonata sedan. However, this is something that can fit between an Elantra and the Sonata. The car is expected to be launched in early 2014. Sonata-lite will be an affordable car which will be still roomy for those who are looking for upgrades to their old small cars. The car has been developed from ground up which includes modifications in the existing technology too. The car is likely to be powered by a 1.8-litre engine. Finding a 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine too wont come as a surprise. These engines are specifically made for small cars. This car will take most of the cues from Elantra.
Targeted solely for China, the company has no intentions to sell it elsewhere in future too. The price of the car has not been decided yet. Hyundai currently has two production plants in China. The company will soon open its third plant in Beijing. The new plant would be dedicated for the production of this new car. Showing a steady growth in United States and European markets, Hyundai had been a good performer in China too. But it lost its share from 5.89 to 5.65 percent in 2012 and is keeping high expectations from this new car to gain back its share.
Source – Reuters