A product is renewed typically after a seven-year period but Hyundai will launch its second-generation i30 compact car only after five years. Hyundai wants to ensure that the i30 will stay competitive in Europe's second-biggest segment after subcompacts. Market researchers JATO Dynamics said that the i30 is Hyundai's top-seller in Europe.
However, the car's European sales declined by almost 12% last year to 101,328 units. Hyundai chose to take action with the new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf, Europe's top-selling car for the last four years, slated to launch this year. Oliver Gutt, Hyundai Germany's head of product management, said that the i30 is its “most important car” when it comes to volume and brand positioning.
He said that the company sensed that the time was right to introduce a “fresh contender in this segment.” Gutt asserted that on average, the i30 is cheaper by 8% compared to its rivals in the segment, including the Golf, Ford Focus, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Citroen C4 and Peugeot 308.
Hyundai Europe Chief Operating Officer Allan Rushforth said that the i30 provides an improved design, better performance, extra features and less emissions. Rushford told Automotive News Europe that the new i30 could make sure that Hyundai's sales growth will be maintained in this intensely competitive segment of the European market.
He said that the i30 is “designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe, for Europe." Hyundai will probably offer three diesels and three gasoline engines in the i30 with power outputs that range from 90 hp to 135 hp.
The powertrain that has the lowest emissions is the "blue" version of the 128-hp diesel that claims to emit just 97 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The new i30 is longer by 20mm (4300mm), wider by 5mm (1780mm) and 10mm shorter (1470mm) than the car it replaces. Sales will begin this month for the five-door i30, which is unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. At the Geneva auto show next month, Hyundai will present a wagon version, which will make its way into showrooms in July. A three-door hatchback is expected to follow in December.