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Hyundai rolls out extras barrel

Value-added: Hyundai's budget-beating Excel will be available with a free $2000 Sportz pack from Boxing Day onwards

Hyundai has re-introduced the Sportz pack to keep Excel sales ticking over in January

24 Dec 1999

HYUNDAI aims to bolster Excel sales in January - traditionally a slow month - by offering a free $2000 Sportz pack for a limited time.

The $13,990 Sportz Pack-equipped Excel goes on sale on Boxing Day, following the end of the $1000 cashback offer on Christmas Eve.

On the base model Excel Sprint, the Sportz Pack adds multi-spoked alloy wheels, a bootlid spoiler, CD player and Sportz decals.

Sedan and five-door models gain the same features - barring the rear spoiler - while the central locking system is upgraded to enable keyless entry.

A free $2000 Classique value pack is also available on the larger Sonata GLE, which retails for $22,990 driveaway.

Sales of the Excel are well down on last year, with 30,329 sold until the end of November, compared with 41,585 for the same period in 1998.

The adverse publicity generated by a faulty weld detected in the front suspension of some Excels last year may have been partly responsible for the decline in popularity.

Hyundai planned to launch the Excel's successor - known as the Accent - in early 2000, but the car is now likely to be introduced later in the year, possibly after the GST takes effect on July 1.

It is believed Hyundai Australia still has extensive stocks of the current Excel which need to be cleared before the replacement can be launched.

If this is the case, expect a series of marketing incentives over the next few months as Hyundai strives to keep sales afloat.

The recent launch of Toyota's Echo does not appear to have made too much of an impression on the bargain-basement segment, with just 1143 sold during November.

However, Toyota's newcomer may gain momentum once its off-beat styling gains acceptance among its target customers. Air- conditioning, formerly a $1490 option on the base model, now costs only $499.

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