Economy, Auto

Hyundai Considers Developing Premium SUV

Hyundai Considers Developing Premium SUVHyundai Considers Developing Premium SUV

Hyundai Motor Co. may develop a large premium sport utility vehicle to cater to growing demand, after sales of its lineup of predominantly sedans slumped, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

South Korea’s biggest automaker is looking at introducing a bigger premium SUV and has not decided which vehicle platform it will be based on, the company said in an email. Reuters reported the SUV plan earlier on Monday.

Hyundai, which offers 10 sedans and four SUV models in its home market, has missed out on a worldwide boom in utility vehicles sparked in part by a decline in gasoline prices. A stronger won is also undermining the company’s ability to compete against the likes of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. in key markets including the US.

“The target market for the vehicle will probably be the US, where SUVs have been very popular lately,” Kim Dong Ha, an analyst at Kyobo Securities Co., said by phone. “Developing a bigger SUV will help Hyundai reinforce its lineup but fuel prices will remain a variable. That is, a bigger SUV will need the fuel price to remain low for it to be successful.”

None of Hyundai’s vehicles ranked among the 10 best-selling SUVs in the first quarter in China, its biggest market. In April, Hyundai showed a version of its revamped Tucson SUV at the Shanghai auto show. It promised to introduce its new Creta SUV in India in the second half of this year.