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Hyundai to boost Venue crossover

Bigger wheels and more equipment mooted for Hyundai’s Venue light SUV

29 Jun 2020

HYUNDAI has revealed that it will revise and relaunch the Venue light SUV to give it stronger appeal in the marketplace, with a boost to its standard equipment levels and larger wheels set to be the star showroom attractions.


Launched late last year as a de facto replacement for the strong-selling but ageing Accent light car, which is no longer available, the Venue has not quite hit the sales targets that Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) was counting on.


According to HMCA chief operating officer John Kett, a range of factors including under-specification of the entry-level Go and mid-range Active grades, and an initial delay of the style-focused Elite variant, contributed to the slow sales uptake, and were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.


“It launched a little bit slower than we would have liked, largely because we didn’t have the Elite version,” Mr Kett told GoAuto in Sydney last week.


“Once that Elite version arrived, we started to concentrate more strongly on that trim … and we recognised that the Go and Active probably pulled too much cost out of that car so we wanted to strengthen the way it looked and felt around its wheels … and it started to get to 300 (sales) per month and then COVID-19 hit.


“And it’s fallen away again, though this month it’s (around) 400.


“If it can get to what the Accent used to give us – around 1000 per month – then it’s sort of done its job given the price-point change it’s at.


‘I’d say it’s underperforming, but we get some momentum with it … so a combination of refinements and the availability of that car will see it deliver from my perspective at least 50 per cent of what Accent did.”


Mr Kett is confident that the upcoming facelift of the Kona small SUV, an all-new version of the Tucson medium SUV, revised Santa Fe medium-large SUV and eight-seat-capable Palisade full-sized SUV will boost awareness of Hyundai as a go-to brand for such vehicles, exposing more consumers to the Venue as an urban runabout crossover.


“The Venue is a unique car – it has a passenger car heart and an SUV soul,” he said.


“When we go through our whole reinvention of our SUV line-up, I think we’ll be able to drag that vehicle along a bit better and give it a little bit more time under the sun.


“Venue should do better, and we always want it to do better. I don’t think it had an unrealistic expectation around where it should be, but it’s not where it needs to be today.”


In the newly defined ‘light SUV’ VFACTS segment, the Venue’s tally of 1333 sales to the end of May trails the class-leading Mazda CX-3’s 4989 units by a hefty 3656 units.


The outgoing Holden Trax is currently second in the category with 1925 sales over the same period, leaving the Venue in third, although the just-released Volkswagen T-Cross and new-generation Nissan Juke are set to make their presence felt in the charts.

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