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Hyundai launches Astra/Focus rival

Date: 19 March 2007

Hyundai i30

Hyundai is hoping for big things from its new i30, the Korean brand's first real foray into the lower medium sector.

Its current competitor, the Accent, is sized between the supermini and lower medium sectors, but the new Hyundai lands firmly in the middle of the segment dominated by the likes of Ford's Focus and the Vauxhall Astra.

Because of the size change, Hyundai thinks 80% of its 4000 sales this year and anticipated 15,000 in 2008 will be conquest sales, according to Hyundai UK product manager Andrew Morrison.

The i30 goes on sale this summer in five-door form, with an estate following next year and a decision due soon on whether to take the three-door version. New 1.4- and 1.6-litre petrols and 1.6-litre diesel are added, joining the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines from the Tucson 4x4.

Hyundai's new naming strategy will be extended next year with the introduction of the Amica replacement, to be called i10.