Hyundai’s been caught out by the consumer shift to SUVs and pickup trucks, and this is reflected in the automaker’s sales which in the first half of the year are down nearly 11 percent compared to an overall market decline of only 2.9 percent. The picture is much bleaker when you focus solely on Hyundai’s sedans.
In response, Hyundai is planning an onslaught of SUVs as well as a pickup truck. On Wednesday, the automaker presented a roadmap for its new SUVs. Timing on the pickup truck is still murky though we’ve heard a launch around 2020 is possible.
As for the SUVs, there will be eight new or updated offerings on the way. The first will be the Kona arriving in March, 2018. The rest will be rolled out by 2020.
Hyundai says every segment will be catered to, apart from the full-size segment. The biggest of the automaker’s SUVs will be a mid-size model with eight seats.
Interestingly, Hyundai also promises a diverse array of powertrains. In addition to regular gasoline options, there will also be diesel, electric and even fuel cell options.
Among the eight SUVs will be the aforementioned Kona, a new Santa Fe Sport, and a new Santa Fe. The latter will come with three rows and could end up reviving the Veracruz name.
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The fuel cell model is likely to be a new generation of the Tucson Fuel Cell. It was previewed in March by the FE Fuel Cell concept. Meanwhile, the electric model is expected to be a battery-powered version of the Kona.
It’s not clear what Hyundai SUV will offer a diesel option though the Santa Fe Sport is a strong candidate.
What is clear is that Hyundai has strong ambitions to claw back lost sales. The automaker looks to be on the right track considering it will soon have almost every base covered. However, there is a lot more competition now, especially since the likes of Nissan, Subaru and Volkswagen are also expanding their respective SUV lineups.