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Hyundai places Accent on new subcompact car

Nov 03,2010
Models pose in front of Hyundai Motor’s new Accent model. [NEWSIS]

BYEONSAN, North Jeolla - The Accent is back. Hyundai Motor said yesterday that it hopes to grab a share of the global market for subcompact cars with the relaunch of the Accent brand after an absence of 11 years in Korea.

Hyundai said it is aiming to sell 500,000 units of the Accent model, including 20,000 in Korea.

In bringing back the Accent name, Hyundai said it wanted to get the attention of a new generation that was unfamiliar with the fact that the model dominated the domestic sub-compact vehicle market in the latter half of the 1990s.

Hyundai plans to launch the new Accent models in Korea this month and in Russia in January before expanding sales to the U.S. and other markets next year.

The original Accent was released in April 1994 and dominated the domestic market, selling 410,000 units in just five years and two months.

After the name was replaced by Verna in the 2000s, Hyundai decided to revive the Accent name and give the model a new slogan, “Guy’s License.”

Hyundai believes that its strength in compact vehicles will help attract new price-sensitive car customers who favor affordable and fuel-efficient vehicles during difficult economic times.

“It is a great joy to introduce the new Accent, which provides the highest level of power, efficiency, convenience and safety compared to any of our competitors,” said Yang Seung-seok, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor. “The Accent will not just stop at providing drivers with the best quality product, but will be reborn to provide a whole new experience and value in driving.”

The new Accent incorporates various technologies that had never been seen in a sub-compact vehicle of its size, including the Verna.

“We believe that this will be a great entry car for college students and fresh graduates between the ages of 23 and 28, and our pre-launching survey showed that people in that age range liked our new style and design,” said Kim Seong-hwan, senior vice president of Hyundai’s domestic marketing group. “We believe that we will rewrite the concept of the sub-compact vehicle market, as we will release the new Accent in China, Russia, the United States and India.”

The company also said that it plans to release a diesel-based model and a hatchback model in early 2011, while continuing various programs to attract its main target customers.


By Jung Seung-hyun [seungjung@joongang.co.kr]



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