Hyundai‘s entry into the upper medium fleet segment signals both the Korean brand’s arrival into the corporate marketplace, and the start of a new raft of products coming through.

“This is the most significant car we’ve ever launched,” said Hyundai UK marketing director Andrew Cullis. “From a product perspective, it’s the first of a new generation of Hyundai.”

The car, launching next month in estate form, with a saloon coming before the end of the year, also finally gives the firm a complete business car offering. “i40 is really important for us,” Cullis told BusinessCar. “We haven’t been able to offer in a key segment for fleet. It is focused on the emotional and the practical, and what fleet managers and user choosers want.”

Standard equipment on the i40 includes Bluetooth across the range, satnav from the middle Style trim and both panoramic roof and full leather interior on the top-spec Premium. “This car excels from a user-chooser perspective,” said Cullis, who also pointed out that the 136hp 1.7-diesel gets under 120g/km. “We’re one of only two manufacturers to offer the higher output at sub-120g/km, it’s only us and the VW Passat.”

Cullis said Hyundai has also focused on running costs, with service intervals pushed out to 20,000 miles and a concentration on parts prices in an effort to bring down SMR costs. As a result, he claimed the main i40 derivatives are “number one or two in class for SMR”. In addition, Hyundai has been working with the Motor Industry Repair Research Centre at Thatcham to bring down insurance costs. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at how to make this car stack up from a fleet perspective.”

The i40 will be the first Hyundai to have a larger fleet share than retail, with 60% going into the business car market. The brand as a whole sells around 30% of units into fleet at present, and is looking to grow that towards 40% for a better balance. Hyundai is set to register 65,000 cars in the UK this year, but has a longer term target of 100,000.

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