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Hyundai iLoad, iMax set to flow more freely

Vantastic: The Popular Hyundai iLoad van and iMax people-mover hold resale values well.

More Hyundai vans coming for Australian market, small update due by December

Hyundai logo19 May 2015


STOCK of Hyundai's popular iLoad and iMax van twins will get a boost with additional production capacity allocated via South Korea for the Australian market.

Supply of the iLoad light-commercial van and its iMax people-mover sibling has been low for a number of years, which has had an impact the car-maker's overall sales, while competitors have also taken a bite out of Hyundai's share of each respective segment.

Speaking with GoAuto this week, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief operating officer John Elsworth told GoAuto that a small update to the vans was due by the end of the year, and that supply would improve.

“We’ve been capacity-strained for a number of years now, so it looks like, in the short term at least, that the supply situation is freeing up a little bit, which is good,” he said.

“We do have pent-up demand for both cars even after this long period. It’s incredible.”

The company has sold 1425 iLoads in the first four months of 2015, representing a three per cent drop over the same period last year, while sales of the segment-leading Toyota HiAce have grown by 12.8 per cent in that period to 2381 units.

While their sales figures might be small by comparison, other LCV's are slowly lifting, with Ford's Transit Custom up by 109 per cent to 299, the Mercedes-Benz Vito at 354 sale, an 18.8 per cent jump, and the Volkswagen Transporter which is up by 24.4 per cent to 464.

The iMax is tracking 6.8 per cent up on its 2014 performance, with 678 registered to the end of April, but Honda's Odyssey leads the sub-$60,000 people-mover segment on 842 sales (+6.8 per cent), followed by the recently launched new-gen Kia Carnival at 767 (+21.9 per cent).

Mr Elsworth acknowledged that fleet customers were some of the biggest purchasers of the iLoad, but HMCA was losing sales to other brands because of an inability to supply.

“We’ve got some really loyal fleet customers, which make up quite a bit of the volume,” he said. “Part of the issue is the car has a reputation of always being hard to get which for some is really good resale values are really quite strong on the car.

“For others it’s just a pain they want a car, they want it now, it’s just a tool of trade. Freeing up supply is really going to help us.” The five-year-old iLoad comes as a three-seat van or a six-seat crew van, and is powered by either a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol/five-speed manual combination, or a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel backed by either a five-speed manual or six-speed auto.

The auto diesel combination yields 125kW 25kW more than the manual version.

Likewise, the auto is capable of delivering 441Nm of torque, almost 100Nm more than the manual.

The petrol/manual combo yields 129kW and 228Nm.

The eight-seat iMax Shuttle shares the same powertrain combinations.

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