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Hyundai Australia to drop i30 wagon

Off the wagon: Hyundai Australia will be without the popular wagon variant of the new i30 range that will debut later this month.

No more i30 wagon for Hyundai Australia due to Czech sourcing issues

Hyundai logo4 May 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

HYUNDAI Australia will drop the i30 wagon from its line-up when it launches the redesigned, second-generation model in hatch-only guise later this month.

The Korean car-maker first showed the German-designed, new-generation i30 wagon at the Geneva motor show in February this year, and it was widely expected to arrive here several months after the hatch.

While the current i30cw model has been sourced from South Korea since 2009, the new-generation wagon will only be manufactured at the company’s Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic.

Hyundai said this rules the wagon out of contention for the Australian market, even though the Czech plant will produce the new model in right-hand-drive configuration for the UK market.

The current wagon variant is a popular choice among buyers, accounting for 20 per cent of the i30’s 8817 total sales this year, making it far-and-away Australia’s most popular small wagon.

Its absence from showrooms will leave pricier Euros like the Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308 as the only remaining small wagons available in Australia – at least until Holden enters the fray in early 2013 with the Cruze wagon, which also premiered at the Geneva show.

1 center imageHolden will import the Cruze wagon from GM Korea initially, but is considering putting it into local production at its Elizabeth plant alongside the sedan and hatch variants.

Hyundai Australia senior manager of public relations Ben Hershman told GoAuto it would rely on other models in its range to cover for the loss of the wagon.

“It’s something we have to work into our product strategy, and we’re very fortunate that we have ix35 available to us as an alternative product, and also the i40 Tourer,” he said.

Mr Hershman said the car-maker had enough stock of the current wagon to fulfill outstanding customer and fleet interest over "the next few months".

While the current i30cw retails from $22,090 plus on-road costs – $1500 more than the equivalent 2.0 SX hatchback – the entry-level front-drive ix35 small SUV costs $26,990, with the larger and more premium i40 Tourer wagon starting at $32,490.

Hyundai’s presence in the Australian small-car segment has grown this year, courtesy of rapid sales growth for the new Elantra sedan introduced in June last year.

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