Hyundai 'uncertain' on Juke rival
* Baby Hyundai SUV 'not necessarily part of plans' * Potential profits the key to the decision * 22 new models on the way in next four years...
Hyundai has yet to decide whether to develop a small SUV to rival the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, according to the company's European boss.
The Korean manufacturer has ambitious plans for range expansion and renewal, with 22 new models or variants scheduled to be launched in the next four years, starting with the all-new i10.
However, Allan Rushforth told What Car? that, despite the increasing popularity of baby SUVs, the company has yet to decide whether it needs to develop one to sit alongside its regular i20 supermini.
When asked if Hyundai can afford to not develop a Juke rival, he said, "The honest answer is that we don't know the answer to that yet. We are considering all options, of course, but that segment [area of the market] is still developing and it needs to mature.
"I think we now see that segments get filled much more quickly than before, so the days when you could launch something and have an area of the market to yourself are long gone. I think the small SUV market will fill up very quickly with vehicles.
"What we're currently considering is the economics of that area of the market," he added. "The margins involved in that type of car are not the same as those you can find on, say, a mid-sized SUV. So we need to weigh up the numbers."
Hyundai's sister company, Kia, is already preparing a direct rival for the Juke. The new model is being previewed at the Frankfurt motor show by the Niro concept.