Hyundai’s production of i10 minicars to be in Turkey instead of India

Article by Anita Panait, on June 8, 2012

Hyundai will produce its i10 minicar in Turkey for European markets as part of its efforts to increase sales in the continent.  Hyundai will produce the i10 alongside the i20 subcompact at its joint venture with Kibar Holding of Turkey in Izmit. To accomplish that, Hyundai plans to double annual production capacity of the Izmit plant to 200,000 units by the end of 2013.

This will effectively create 750 new jobs at the plant and another 1,500 at suppliers. Hyundai hiked the capacity of the Izmit plant in May to 120,000 to start the production of the new i20. With sales of around 73,000 in 2011, the i10 is the company’s fourth best-selling model in Europe, after the i30, i20 and ix35, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.

Around 70 percent of the vehicles that Hyundai markets in Europe are built at its Turkish plant and at its Nosovice site in the Czech Republic. 

The Nosovice site produces the i30, the ix20 and the ix35. Allan Rushforth, Hyundai Motor Europe's chief operating officer, said that by producing the i10 in Turkey, the company could further increase in sales, since it underscores the fact that Hyundai develops and produces cars in Europe “that Europeans want to drive."

Hyundai is eyeing to capture a 3.5 percent share in the EU and EFTA nations in 2012, up from 2.9 percent in 2011. The carmaker also said that it aims to sell around 500,000 units in 2013. The company posted an 18 percent increase in sales in EU and EFTA countries to 38,521 in May 2012. Hyundai also sold 187,534 vehicles in Europe in the January to May period.

Looking at the latest Hyundai i10, it is clear that a number of features have been enhanced. However, the brand made sure that the qualities that made the previous versions successful would still be there. Changes include the new and enhanced lineup of engines that comply with Euro V standards. These engines are able to offer excellent performance while making sure fuel economy remains exceptional and emissions are kept low.

One of these is the 1.0-liter Kappa engine which serves to replace the 1.1-liter Epsilon engine. The new innovative three-cylinder unit is able to attain combined fuel efficiency of 67.3 mpg. This is sure to attract many customers given that expenses related to mobility remains on the rise. It goes without saying that there were changes to the design as well on the exterior and the interior.

Without going to specifics, the changes ensure that this latest version will have a more luxurious appeal compared to those from other brands at the same price. Despite the changes to the design, they were done with the intention of still being in line with the progressive and strong design language of Hyundai. In addition, the changes also meant that the new i10 would have some similarities with the other models that were recently released by the brand like the ix20 and the ix35.

The new equipment fitted inside is impressive as well, even the optional ones. Examples of this include the air conditioning and the new iPod plug-in, which is now a standard feature on all the new i10 models. Other features include the six-speaker stereo four airbags, electric windows, central locking, and the 14-inch wheels. All of these are not included as standard.

Going back to the new engine, in order to fully utilize it, Hyundai introduced the i10 Blue. Since this is a special “eco” edition, CO2 emissions are at 99 g/km. As such, it can avail of the exemption from the London Congestion Charge and even the VED. Presently, it is the sole five-seater car that is below £10,000 to have this figure. It is also the first of the Blue models that Hyundai hopes will show that it is committed to environment-friendly technologies.

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