IF 2010 saw Renault emerge as the big winner, mainly because of its aggressive scrappage policy, then this year could see the pendulum swing east with Hyundai already reporting a 60 per cent increase on business last year in the first 10 days of trading.
This means a 4.75 per cent market share -- 7th place in the motor market. Hyundai Ireland's ambition for 2011 is to hit five per cent market share, and ultimately achieve seven per cent market share in 2012. This is remarkable growth and one of the main drivers will be the introduction of a five-year unlimited mileage warranty across the entire passenger range.
The Hyundai range has made massive leaps forward over recent years and they are on the way to having a really complete range of cars -- almost hitting the premium level in style and quality.
Driving through Wicklow last Sunday I spotted their new SUV, the ix35, which looks even better than I remember and its sales to date are exceeding all expectations.
The ix20 -- the replacement for the Matrix -- retails from €17,495 and was launched late last year.
And my household was not slow to put money where the mouth is when the i10 Hyundai's entry-level five-door car was bought under the scrappage scheme. There is now also serious scrappage savings on the i30 range with a price of €13,995 for a 1.4-litre petrol version.
The company is very excited about the imminent launch of the all-new D segment car -- the i40 which, with a 1.7 diesel engine, will take on the Passat and the Mondeo.
The i40 will be launched officially at the Geneva Motor Show and will be available for sale in Ireland by the end of April 2011. This i40 is expected to gain serious volume in the fleet market coupled with the arrival of the new Velostar.
As seen at the Detroit Motor show the new Velostar (replacement for the Hyundai Coupe) will be launched in Ireland in October/ November.
The main growth for Hyundai will be targeted to come through conquest business from the Toyota, Ford and Nissan marques.