Hyundai nods to Kona with subcompact SUVHyundai Motor is adding a new model to its portfolio, and it’s likely to be called Kona.
The automaker’s first subcompact SUV to be launched in Korea is poised to debut in the first half of this year, the automaker said Wednesday.
Kona, which is known by its project name OS, will be Hyundai Motor’s first foray into the burgeoning small SUV market.
Until now, Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Motors have been focusing on its sedans Sonata and K7 and midsize SUVs Santa Fe and Sorento.
“Kona is the most likely name to be selected as the new model’s title among other candidates,” said a Hyundai Motor spokesperson.
It is yet to be decided whether the newly released model will be launched overseas as well.
“It is the first subcompact SUV model to be launched in Korea, but we have a strategic model for the same segment in the overseas market,” the spokesperson said, adding that it would be hasty to launch the same segment model in the global market without a concrete strategy.
Creta which is sold in India and Russia and ix25 which is sold in China are some of the overseas strategic subcompact SUV models.
Hyundai Motor Group is known to label its cars following the names of renowned regions overseas.
The midsize SUV Santa Fe is named for the New Mexico’s capital in the United States, known for its heritage of old relics and architecture from Spanish culture. Tucson, a compact SUV, is named for a city in Arizona. Kona is a region in Hawaii, best known for the coffee products named after it.
The small SUV market in Korea has been heating up in the last year with major players like SsangYong Motor’s Tivoli, GM Korea’s Trax and Renault Samsung Motors’ QM3.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]