Hyundai’s i45, a Proxy for Sedan

Hyundai’s i45, a Proxy for SedanHyundai scuffled through 2009, a dreadful year for the New Zealand motor industry, to increase its sales by nearly 7 per cent in a market that fell by 28 per cent.

The result came as no surprise to those in the industry who have seen the Korean Company determinedly claw its way up the ladder, as the Company broke the 5000 unit mark for the first time and took fifth place in the passenger-vehicle market.

Two years ago it was in seventh place and not too many years before that, languished among the "others", the ones that weren't in the top 10.

The question then became how Korea's largest carmaker would maintain its momentum this year?

Last week's launch of Hyundai's i45 mid-sized sedan, a replacement for the Sonata, reveals part of the answer. The Company plans to sell 1000 over the next 12 months, at retail prices that range from $42,000 to $52,000.

The launch comes on the heels of the Company's ix35 SUV, which replaced the popular Tucson.

Thanks to its modern styling, level of equipment even at the entry level, and a choice of two responsive four cylinder engines, Hyundai expects i45 to do much better than Sedan.

On the other hand, the i45 lacks both a wagon version and a diesel, both important to fleet buyers. However, the Company says an additional model coming later in the year will address both potential sales squashers.

The array comprises four models with two Theta II four cylinder engine choices. The entry-level car has a lively 2.0 liter that produces 122kW at 6200rpm and 198Nm of torque at 4600rpm. The other three uses the 2.4 liter four offering 148kW at 6300rpm and 250Nm at 4250rpm.