Hyundai CEO Claims New Hyundai Sonata Set To Launch by 2014
The CEO of Hyundai Motor announced that the company plans to launch a revised version of its flagship Hyundai Sonata sedan in 2014 which is its first upgrade in more than four years, as the firm struggles with increasing foreign competition in its home market. Hyundai, along with its associate Kia Motors is the world’s fifth-largest auto group and has only one new model scheduled for a global launch this year. The company has begun taking pre-orders for the new Santa Fe sports utility vehicle, which is likely to be unveiled in April. The latest version of the Sonata was launched in September 2009 in South Korea and early 2010 in the United States.
The Hyundai Sonata is the automaker’s top-selling model in the U.S., and it competes directly against the likes of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and the Toyota Camry. It was also Hyundai’s third-best selling model in South Korea last year. Hyundai’s domestic car sales has come under increasing pressure following free trade agreements with Europe and the United States that have enhanced international automakers’ access to South Korea’s previously sheltered market.
According to the latest reports, the sales of imported cars topped 10 percent of the market for the first time in January this year. Toyota has begun to sell U.S.-made Camry sedans in South Korea and considers importing cars from Europe as it seeks to improve local sales by 160 percent to 13,000 vehicles this year, and Lexus sales by 90 percent to 8,000. Kim Choong-ho, the chief executive of Hyundai also told that the revamped version of the large-sized Genesis would be launched in late 2013.