Hyundai is considering abandoning the popular family hatchback class in favor of a new compact crossover
Speaking at the launch of the new Tucson, a mid-sized SUV that replaces the ix35, a company insider told Telegraph Cars that Hyundai could leave the traditional family hatchback sector when the i30 reaches the end of its current product life-cycle in 2017.
In the i30’s place would be a small SUV designed to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3 and Renault Captur, providing Hyundai with an entry into what is currently the fastest growing area of the car market in Europe.
The move would echo the step taken by Nissan in 2007 when it replaced its Almera hatchback with the Qashqai SUV. It proved a shrewd move for the Japanese car maker, with the Qashqai soon becoming a regular fixture in the list of the UK’s best selling cars. However, while other manufacturers have created Qashqai clones, they have been in addition to, rather than instead of, their hatchback offerings, and even Nissan has now re-entered the sector with the Pulsar.
The replacement of the i30 would be the latest step in what has been an aggressive strategy from Hyundai as it continues to gain ground on the established European opposition. This has included shortening the typical lifespans of its cars from the motor industry’s traditional seven-year cycle to just five years, as well as offering market-leading warranties.