News - Hyundai - Veloster
Hyundai Veloster future up in the air
While a facelift is imminent, Hyundai's Veloster coupe faces an uncertain future
30 Jun 2014
By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in SOUTH KOREA
HYUNDAI is debating whether to continue with the divisive Veloster three-door coupe/hatch line after the facelifted model arrives sometime within the next year or so.
While Australia is one of the more popular destinations for the distinctive small car, sales have not lived up to expectations in key overseas markets including South Korea, the United States and Europe.
Only about 60,000 units were sold worldwide last year – its second full year of availability – with fewer than 3000 examples finding buyers in the domestic market.
One company executive revealed that Hyundai is weighing up whether to continue with the sporty hatch with asymmetrical sides at the end of the the current generation model's life-cycle in about two years time.
“It still has not been decided,” the home-market executive, who preferred to remain anonymous, told GoAuto at the first drive preview of the Genesis luxury sedan.
“There is still debate as to whether it will happen.”
Meanwhile, Australian-raised Casey Hyun, Hyundai’s creative design manager based in Seoul, said that the Veloster has already achieved a major milestone for the company, changing consumer perceptions about what it can offer.
As a result, Hyundai will always try and offer vehicles that challenge the way consumers think about its vehicles.
“The Veloster has really made people understand that Hyundai is not just a volume brand,” he said.
“It is a very defining car – and so we will continue to develop something that is different and challenging. The Veloster opened people’s eyes to the brand.
“There are times when a vehicle’s importance goes beyond sales and money-making abilities because of what it brings to the brand.”
Launched in 2011, the Veloster is about to undergo a significant facelift, with a new nose (possibly featuring Hyundai’s new signature hexagonal grille opening as first seen on the 2015 Sonata mid-sizer), different rear-end treatment and perhaps a revised interior with updated multimedia and driver aid technology.
Last year the Veloster accounted for 20.2 per cent of the total VFACTS sub-$80,000 sports car market with just under 4000 units finding home, coming second only to the high-flying Toyota 86’s 34.4 per cent share and 6706 sales.
So far this year it remains in the second-best seller to the end of May with 1412 sales compared with the 84 which is sitting on 2001 sales in the same period.
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