Johannesburg – As the South African motor industry chugs back into life with the lifting of lockdown restrictions, most car companies are hard at work planning their future product portfolios and the good news for those lucky enough to be in the market for a new car is that there are a lot of new models to look forward to.
But with most consumers expected to buy down in the wake of the economic devastation caused by Covid-19, those car companies offering a substantial spread of affordable models are likely to gain market share. That could very well apply to Hyundai, which has a vast array of new models in the pipeline, most of them at the lower end of the market.
To find out more about what the importer has in store for the remainder of 2020 and beyond, we spoke to Hyundai South Africa’s General Manager of Corporate Communications Deon Sonnekus.
He says that although every car company is taking a knock in terms of sales, with no one able to accurately predict the extent to which the numbers will drop this year, customer interest during the month of May has been fairly encouraging so far.
Sonnekus also expects buyers to migrate to more affordable vehicles: “We expect that people will buy down, whether it’s in brand or segment, and we are well positioned for that with our comprehensive range.”
In that regard, Hyundai is planning to introduce its new-generation Grand i10
hatchback later this year. While it was initially planned for midyear, Covid-19 related delays have pushed the expected launch date back to the fourth quarter of 2020.
New Hyundai Grand i10.
The all-new Grand i10 Nios is 40mm longer and 20mm wider than the current model, making it almost identical in size to the old Getz hatchback, which was once a common sight on South Africa’s roads.
The engine line-up will only be confirmed closer to launch, but the Indian factory from which SA sources its i10s currently offers a 1.2-litre normally aspirated petrol engine with 61kW, as well as a 1-litre turbopetrol that’s good for 74kW. The latter, if it makes it here, will most certainly be a little cracker.
Also due in the last quarter of 2020 is the all-new Creta
SUV, which has a bold new look that might not appeal to everyone, but at least it’s unlikely to get lost in a parking lot.
New Hyundai Creta.
As with the Grand i10, the local powertrain line-up remains unconfirmed, but the Indian division currently offers a 1.5-litre turbodiesel with 85kW as well as a 1.5 normally aspirated petrol, also with 85kW, and a 1.4-litre turbo that pushes 103kW.
Also on course is the all-new Hyundai i20
, which boasts a far more striking exterior and interior design than the current model. Its proportions are sportier too, with the car having been widened by 30mm and lowered by 24mm, while the length and wheelbase have grown by 5mm and 10mm respectively.
New Hyundai i20.
However, thanks to Covid-19 delays, the new i20 will reach South Africa later, rather than sooner, in 2021.
Another exciting product set for the second half of 2021 is the all-new, and yet to be revealed, Tucson
SUV, which is expected to make its own bold strides in terms of design.
Also on the horizon is a heavily facelifted version of the Santa Fe
large SUV, which Hyundai recently previewed in the design sketch that you see below. Expect the reveal to happen shortly.
But perhaps the most exciting vehicle for the South African market is the upcoming one-tonne bakkie that’s been the subject of much speculation both locally and abroad. Although it has yet to be officially confirmed for the South African market, we would certainly hedge our bets on it coming here given that Hyundai SA has been pushing for a vehicle like this for a long time.
Value added ‘assistance’ packages
As for the here and now, Hyundai South Africa is responding to the current trading conditions with several “assistance packages”, Sonnekus says.
Source reference: https://www.iol.co.za