Hyundai is also planning to get into the compact sedan segment – a segment that is quite popular in India dominated by the Maruti Dzire. The company’s joint venture in Turkey is planning to build a compact sedan based on the next generation Hyundai i10 platform.
The new Hyundai i10 hatchback has been spotted testing in India and is due to be launched by around September this year. It will also likely feature a small capacity 1.1 litre diesel engine, allowing Hyundai to bring diesel cars even further down the value chain.
Umit Karaarsalan, the chairman of the Hyundai Turkey-based joint venture Hyundai Assan told a newspaper that the company is planning to build bigger versions of the i10 on the new Hyundai i10 platform that will be positioned between the Hyundai i10 and the Hyundai i20, and that it could easily produce a sedan on the same platform.
A compact sedan on the Hyundai i10 platform is definitely more plausible than one on the Hyundai i20 platform – which was a rumour doing the rounds a few weeks ago. The reason is, the Hyundai i10 measures 3,565 mm in length at present, and even if the new platform was slightly larger – it still has enough workable space to incorporate a boot into the design without compromising on the rest of the body structure, and keeping the length under 4 metres. Also read: Upcoming small diesel cars to launch in 2013
With the Hyundai i20 – it’s not possible to have a sub-4 metre sedan, because the i20 itself measures 3940 mm in length. Engineering a boot into this would involve complete changes to the rear doors, reduction in seat space and redesigning of more than 50% of the car to stay within the 4 metre limit, which is just not economically or practically feasible, whereas working on the i10 platform would definitely be possible.
The Hyundai i10 compact sedan would be a good fit for Hyundai for the Indian market as well, to slot in just above the i10 and at a par with the Hyundai i20 in terms of price segmentation – giving buyers more choice within the Hyundai range, and allowing for a more affordable sedan due to the excise sops for small cars measuring under 4 metres in length. The car will effectively compete with the upcoming Honda Amaze and the Maruti Dzire.
So far there is no official word from Hyundai India about these plans, although this year will see a new Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai i10 launch among others. Watch this space. Also read: Upcoming cars from Hyundai