The Korean shark car is up on the block at Hyundai. The Tiburon coupe â€” its name means shark â€” has just been tweaked and updated as the company works through its whole range to set the course for the next 10 years. Hyundai should hit 48,000 sales in Australia this year and is aiming to power past 50,000 next year with its all-new model line-up providing the power.
Hyundai has had four totally new arrivals so far this year â€” Elantra, Sonata, SantaFe and Grandeur â€” and also has a diesel-engined Santa Fe coming before the end of the year.
The smoother shark car will open the action in 2007, although the latest Tiburon has already been given its world premiere in China.
It has a gentler shape and has also been given a cabin upgrade and update.
“It will probably be here in January or February. It’s available from the end of the year, but we’ll take it from the first quarter of next year,” Hyundai Motor Australia director of sales and marketing, Theo van Doore, says.
“It’s not new, it’s a facelift. But it’s a fairly substantial cosmetic update. It’s pretty sexy. It will be followed by the hatchback and wagon models of the new Elantra, which has only been introduced as a sedan in Australia.
Â “That’s it now for new models. We still have the Santa Fe diesel, which is the first soft-roader with a diesel engine, and we’re expecting it to go well.
“But it’s been four this year. And they are all completely new products. So we have had a lot to do.”
Van Doore says Hyundai is now looking to build from its new-model base and to also pick up some of the slack that has come with the arrival of so many new models.
“We have suffered quite a lot, because we couldn’t get stock. The world demand for our fuel-efficient cars has been a problem,” he says. “We expect supplies to come on-line from September. The objective over the next two to three years is to consolidate. Next year we’d like to do about 53,000 vehicles. We’ve had very fast growth for the past three years.”
Van Doore says Hyundai is picking up as a brand and believes quality improvements have made a big difference.
“There also seems to be some public awareness that we are a lot better than we used to be,” he says.
Hyundai is trumpeting its success in JD Power quality surveys in the United States, where it recently finished third overall, behind Porsche and Lexus.
“All of our other models, apart from the old Accent, were in the top three in their category. Tuscon won its category, so did Sonata and Grandeur,” van Doore says.
“We’re attacking the business from many different angles. It’s all about becoming a more accessible and more prestigious brand.
“In the last 2 1/2years we’ve replaced about 30 per cent of our dealers.
“It’s a much, much stronger network than it has been, and the dealers have probably spent $50 million on facilities.” [Herald-Sun]