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Three-door Hyundai i30 under discussion

Less is more: The three-door i30 hatch (left) could make it to Australia following the surprise announcement that Hyundai will re-introduce the i30 Tourer (below).

Wagon decision opens the door to import Czech-built Hyundai i30 three-door hatch

22 Oct 2012

HYUNDAI’S surprise decision to bring the wagon version of its popular i30 small car to Australia after all could bring with it a three-door hatchback version that is built in the same Czech factory.

Hyundai Australia marketing director Oliver Mann said last week the i30 three-door hatch – which had its global unveiling at last month’s Paris motor show – is being closely looked at for this country.

“It’s built alongside the i30 wagon in the Czech Republic … so I guess it opens up opportunities, but we haven’t got anything to talk about at the moment,” he told GoAuto at the Sydney motor show.

“We’ll have the chance to consider that vehicle, though only on the basis of all sorts of doors being opened – shipping lines, exchange rates, the business case itself, and the ability of the factory itself to supply.

“But it’s something that we’ll probably look at.” The first C-segment three-door hatch in Hyundai’s history, the i30’s case has been helped by favourable currency exchange rates.

Mr Mann said a three-door i30 has not been a high priority because Australians traditionally prefer five-door small cars.

1 center imageLeft: Hyundai i30 Tourer.

“There’s obviously a very significant market for three-door hatches in Europe, but that doesn’t really exist in Australia, so I don’t think it’s a cut and dry decision by any means at all,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mann denied that the about-face on the wagon – which will return here early next year – had come about due to renewed speculation that sister brand Kia would bring the second-generation Cee’d wagon to Australia.

“We looked at the i30 (wagon) on the basis of it being an i30 rather than what anything Kia does,” he said.

“It is literally a combination of (shifts in) the exchange rate and capacity available at the Czech plant for us to take advantage of.”

Although he did not reveal pricing or specification details, Mr Mann said he hopes the i30 Touring can repeat the 20 per cent model share of its predecessor, the FD-series i30cw.

“There will be a price premium, and obviously the previous i30cw had a premium over the hatch, and that’s something that the market expects.

“The previous-gen wagon had a very significant following with retail, private and government customers, so we’re really excited (about its prospects).

“The i30 wagon has a loyal following across all segments of the market, so we’ve been trying to respond to that and with the roll of the dice things have gone our way.”

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