Hyundai looks to Hawaii for name of first small SUV

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Hyundai looks to Hawaii for name of first small SUV

Hyundai Motor’s first subcompact sports-utility vehicle will officially be named Kona, the company said Monday.

The nation’s leading automaker revealed the first teaser of the new addition to its SUV lineup titled Kona, named after a district in northwestern Hawaii known for its premium coffee. Kona is the latest edition in the automaker’s SUV portfolio that’s named after a region across the globe. Hyundai’s midsize SUV Santa Fe, for instance, is named after the capital city of the state of New Mexico in the United States, while the compact SUV Tucson takes its name from a city in Arizona.

Hyundai on Monday revealed only a partial image of the car, which showed the vehicle’s front lamp cluster.

The popularity of the subcompact SUV, which competes in the “B” segment, unlike the larger compact SUV in the “C” segment, is on the rise in Korea, currently dominated by SsangYong Motor’s Tivoli, Renault Samsung Motor’s QM3 and GM Korea’s Trax. Last year, about 100,000 subcompact vehicles were sold in the domestic market and analysts expect the size of the industry will grow to more than 120,000 vehicles by 2022. This will be the first foray into the market for Hyundai Motor.

Although the release date of the Kona hasn’t been disclosed, it is poised to arrive in the local auto market by the third quarter of this year, or around summer.

By Choi Hyung-jo

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