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Hyundai reveals name of global compact SUV

One step closer: Hyundai’s weak spot is its lack of a global baby soft-roader, and the company has taken the first step to fix the issue by announcing the forthcoming Creta.

The Creta is named after a Greek island, and will act as Hyundai’s global baby SUV

3 Jun 2015

HYUNDAI Motor Company has finally revealed the name of its forthcoming compact SUV challenger – but very little else.

It will be known as the Creta, and sales are scheduled to start on the sub-continent later this year before spreading to “new and established international markets”, according to a statement from the Hyundai Motor Company.

“Creta will be an influential global model for the Hyundai Motor brand in one of the fastest-growing vehicle segments, helping the company to reach out to many more consumers in new and established international markets,” said the statement.

The Creta is set to be built in India alongside the domestic-market i20, but Hyundai has revealed little else about the crossover.

The South Korean car-maker, without a vehicle in a category that is experiencing rapid growth in markets around the globe, is accelerating the progress of creating a rival for the Honda HR-V and Mazda’s CX-3.

Despite being one of the markets calling loudest for such a vehicle, the Australian arm of Hyundai was non-committal about the news, saying only that it is too early to determine whether the car is suitable for the local market.

Sources within Hyundai Motor Company Australia also indicated that while the name is part of a global nomenclature change program – and one that saw the reintroduction of the Tucson nameplate to the Australian market – there were no guarantees that it would be applied here.

With the mid-size Tucson set to launch in a matter of months to replace the smaller ix35, HMCA is set to be without a contender in the compact-SUV segment for at least another 12 months.

HCMA chief operating officer John Elsworth recently told GoAuto that while a new compact SUV is high on the company’s wishlist, it would have to stand in line.

“It’s not as easy as clicking your fingers to pull a car forward, but it’s still a couple of years away from our point of view to have a car that meets all the safety regulations for Australia,” he said, referring to the Chinese-market ix25 which is not suitable for sale in the local market.

“There’s not much we can do about it, so we’ve just got to bide our time and focus on what we can sell.” Sales in Australia's small-SUV segment have jumped by 25.6 per cent in the first five months of this year, with 39,104 crossovers sold compared with 31,137 in the same period last year.

The aforementioned ix35 is leading sales in the segment this year, with 7620 units shifted, ahead of the Mitsubishi ASX (4626), Nissan Qashqai (4345), Honda HR-V (3891), Subaru XV (3370) and Mazda's CX-3 (3296).

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