The Korean automaker Hyundai is working on its next hybrid, and this time it’s aiming to displace the popular Toyota Prius. The new hybrid will be a plug-in model based on the i30, with its formal introduction scheduled for the end of 2012, and product launch scheduled for 2013.
Hyundai’s reputation in Europe has been stable over the past several years, with a continuous line of dependable and inexpensive cars, but the new sales goals will need more aggressive marketing. The first Hyundai hybrid available in Europe – their previous hybrid offering, the Sonata, was only sold in Korea and the United States – is the kind of splash that could be exactly what they need.
Allan Rushforth, Hyundai’s European vice president, is confident that Hyundai will be able to meet their sales goal of 500,000 vehicles in Europe more quickly than planned – and the numbers back him up. Despite the overall decline in the European market, Hyundai has managed to increase by 10.1%. “The i30 could help us even more,” Rushforth said. “We might even be able to finish 2012 with those half million sales.”
The only word on pricing so far is that the i30 hybrid will be cheaper than the Prius, and technical details have yet to be released.
Source: Auto Motor und Sport.