I ATTENDED the European deal of the new Hyundai Kona. Held in Milan in 37 degree heat it was all a bit – well, close – with some 600 people there.
Still, this new Kona is as hot as the room temperature was.
It’s a new compact SUV and joins Hyundai’s two other SUVs, the mid-sized Tucson and the large Santa Fe.
The Tucson and Santa Fe are already good SUVs, so given the aggressive, complex appearance of this newcomer, I only hope it’s as exciting to drive as it is to look at.
Hyundai certainly has big plans for the brand. By 2021 it wants to be number one Asian brand in Europe, according to Thomas Schmid, chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor Europe.
To get there it plans 30 new vehicles – new models or new derivatives – by 2021. That’s some ambition.
Can they do it?
I asked boss of Hyundai in the UK, Tony Whitehorn:
“I can’t see us being number 1 Asian brand in the UK, because you have Asian brands here with manufacturing capability, such as Nissan. But there you go, that’s the market we are in here in the UK. But to put that ambition in perspective Hyundai is already number one in Germany.
“So it is an absolutely achievable aim. And we plan to get there through the launch of new product. The way our company works is to produce great product. We’ve been a bit quiet over the last two years with just Tucson and IONIQ. Over the next three years you will see a bow wave of new product coming through.
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