Hyundai will still build small cars like the i10... at least for now
But boss of Hyundai Europe noted it would soon get challenging
Hyundai is still committed to building small cars, its European boss told TopGear.com, but admits the move to the Euro 7 standard and later full electrification will make that segment difficult.
Following a notable move into more premium parts of the car market – and considering the challenge and cost of building small cars – Michael Cole said the i10, currently the smallest, cheapest car the Korean giant builds, is still on the books.
“Our plan is to remain with the i10 – it's in the plan today. We always have to monitor what’s happening in terms of different legislations, Euro 7... it makes that market very challenging because of the cost.
“We’re trying to work with the European Commission to push Euro 7 out or try to make it what we think would be a more realistic standard. But the i10 is definitely part of the plan now.
“Obviously as we move towards electrification, we have to think about that whole A-segment, B-segment, C-segment; [we have to consider] how can we, in the future when we are electric, serve that marketplace. We have no plans we can share at this stage, but we want to continue to serve the broadest range of customers.”
Indeed, when asked whether there’s still space for Hyundai to go further in the other direction – offer more expensive, ‘premium’ cars – Cole said: “We have such a broad offering of product which go from i10 through to the top end of our EVs. We’re trying to position ourselves in a way that we can attract a very wide spectrum of customers with different demands.
“We are definitely seeing with the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, we are attracting a lot of customers out of premium brands – you are not likely to do that in the i10 market. You accept there is a different profile of customer at the different interjection with the brand. So it’s not that we’re trying to be a premium brand, but I think we can always go in that direction with certain products,” he added.
“But we don’t ever want to walk away from the traditional heartland of the smaller car market. That’s important to us. They’re a very strong customer base, and we always want to try and offer mobility to all. We don’t want to leave any customers behind.”
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