Hyundai going back to small, fuel-efficient and cheap cars

After giving us an upmarket luxury sedan, Hyundai is going to go back to what it does best – producing fuel-efficient, small and less expensive cars. The Korean automaker has six new or redesigned vehicles planned for the 2009 and 2011 model years.

Along with a 4-cylinder 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which will start in the low $20,000s, Hyundai will introduce the next-generation Elantra in early 2009.

“We’re looking at small, fuel-efficient cars,” John Krafcik, product development chief for Hyundai Motor America told reporters. “We will be blessed when the new CAFE standards come in.”

Hyundai is considering the i10, a five-door hatchback currently sold in India, for the U.S. The Korean automaker is planning on selling the car under both Hyundai and Kia channels with a little more power than the Indian models.

The Elantra, based on the i30, will get a five-door variant which will go on sale in January. The Accent and Sonata will be redesigned in 2011. Also in 2011, the Tucson and Santa Fe will be redesigned and a turbocharged 4-cylinder unit will join the two model lineups.

Hyundai is also planning a production version of the Veloster concept which is likely to enter production in 2012. The car will be built on a front-wheel-drive architecture which will replace the Tiburon.

No major changes are planned for Veracruz and Entourage.


Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)