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Hyundai sets out top-five plan

Date: 09 February 2015   |   Author:

Hyundai is pushing towards becoming a top-five player in the UK market in the long term via the twin goals of hitting 100,000 units per year and passing the 5% point for market share.

"It would be naïve to put a timing on this, but I'm saying this is what we're doing and this is where we need to go," said Hyundai's UK boss Tony Whitehorn.

Last year, the firm registered a total of 81,996 cars, which equated to a 3.3% market share, placing it just outside the top 10, while in fleet it placed 10th, according to the SMMT, with 42,406 registrations and a 3.7% market share.

"True fleet growth is vitally important for us," Hyundai's fleet and remarketing director Martin Wilson told BusinessCar. "The last three years have been outstanding for us - the key is to keep that momentum going.
"The target of 50,000 [in fleet] is in the next two or three years. Slightly longer term is the 5% share and then the top five - these are some big goals," he continued.

Whitehorn predicted the UK new car market would be broadly static in 2015, and the only manufacturers making gains would be those with new product.

"We're looking for 7% growth to 88,000 in a flat market," he declared. "Why? It's very simple: new product."

The company has already launched the new i20 supermini, and there's a coupe version of that car coming in March, just ahead of facelifted versions of the lower medium i30 range and the upper medium i40. The new ix35 will also arrive before year end.

But it's the i20 that fleet boss Wilson sees as the key: "The i20 is the biggest opportunity for us in terms of pure incremental growth - leasing, public sector and salary sacrifice in that order.

"In the B-segment [supermini], 40%-50% of the public sector will be driving the Ford Fiesta and they won't just change tomorrow, so we need a consistent message. We need the monthly rentals to be right, the RVs to be right and people to understand the brand."

He continued: "In leasing and the public sector, the new i20 will make a dramatic difference - now we've
got something that can compete with the Fiesta and VW Polo.

"We've had an 8-10% increase in residual value with the new car, which makes it a game-changer
for us."