Hyundai Motor Co. has released the first images of the seventh-generation Hyundai Sonata, hoping that the overhauled sedan would allow it to gain market share once again. Hyundai plans a more comprehensive unveiling of the new Sonata this month in South Korea and will showcase it at the New York Auto Show in April.
The Sonata could bring new light to a carmaker marred by record recalls as well as a worsening currency-exchange rate. The seventh generation sedan will be the second vehicle to be overhauled under Peter Schreyer, who became chief of both Hyundai and Kia Motors Corp.'s designs in January 2013.
"The Sonata was the model that made consumers re-evaluate Hyundai from a maker of budget cars to one that made stylish and appealing cars," said Shin Chung Kwan, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities Co. "With the upcoming Sonata, the company is hoping to take another step up."
Since its introduction in 1985, the Sonata has sold over 6.8 million units globally and was Hyundai's second best-selling model behind the Elantra in the US in 2013.
The remodeled Sonata in 2009 surpassed the Nissan Altima and the Malibu. Its annual US sales almost doubled by 2012 following the overhaul, according to company data. J.D. Power and Associates also ranked the Sonata as the most dependable midsize car in their 2013 survey.