Redesigned Elantra for China:
source: China Car TimesAt the end of last year we talked about the new Hyundai Elantra designed specifically for the China market to be launched in 2008. This new model has been seeing more and more press recently and should be one of the major attractions at the Hyundai booth next week at the Beijing Auto Show.
Today J. M. Noh, President of Beijing Hyundai Motor Company confirmed that Hyundai intends to follow in the footprints of Volkswagen and produce two different Elantras for the China market. According to Mr. Noh this is something that Hyundai would never do in Korea or the USA, but China is a very special market.
In China the Elantra is largely seen as a cheap vehicle widely used by taxis in Beijing. Hyundai will continue to build the old Elantra for taxi fleets while targeting sales of the new improved Elantra to the consumer market.
Volkswagen did the same thing in China with their Jetta, continuing to build the 24 year old designed Mark 2 to this present day while rebranding the Jetta Mark 4 as the Bora in China. This strategy worked well until 2003 when competition from new entrants like GM caused VW’s market share to shrink dramatically. We will have to watch and see how this strategy works for Hyundai.