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Hyundai sizes up larger van

Range expansion: Hyundai could soon sell a larger light commercial van in Australia, alongside the popular iLoad (left).

A big brother for Hyundai's best-selling iLoad van is in the pipeline


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2 Jul 2014

HYUNDAI has its eyes set on importing a larger light commercial van to sit above the popular one-tonne iLoad in its local line-up.

According to Hyundai Motor Company Australia chief operating officer John Elsworth, there is a big opportunity for the South Korean brand to make its mark in the 3.5 to eight tonne light-commercial vehicle space in Australia.

“We would certainly take it if we could,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Genesis luxury sedan in South Korea late last month.

“We are working on it. But it is a long and complicated process Hyundai’s truck business is separate from the car business... so there is nothing to announce.”

Known internally as the ‘EU’ van, the 3.6-tonne to five-tonne van described as a “semi bonnet type light commercial vehicle” is slated for a September release at the Hanover commercial vehicle show in Germany.

The project is a partnership with long-time commercial vehicle specialists, Karsan Otomotiv of Turkey, and is the result of a $A275 million joint-venture agreement, signed in November 2012, to build the EU from late this year.

About 75 per cent of Karsan’s EU output is slated for pan-European consumption, over a seven-year period totalling 200,000 units.

To help take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volkswagen Crafter and Fiat Ducato, the rear-wheel drive EU will be available in panel van, light truck and minibus configurations.

At the time of the joint-venture announcement, HMC Executive Vice President, Young Hoon Jung, said that his intention is to see Hyundai’s truck division become as synonymous with LCVs as the automobile business is with cars.

"Our goal is to capture the same success we experienced in Europe with the automobile, this time becoming an important player in the LCV market,” he said.

Karsan also manufacturers the Hyundai HD 75 truck range.

In Australia, the iLoad is currently the second-best selling van in the 2.5 to 3.5-tonne segment, with 1859 sales so far this year, compared to the top-selling Toyota HiAce which has shifted 2684 units in the same period.

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