Australia’s almost non-existent small wagon market will become even smaller next month, when Hyundai launches its new generation i30 hatchback range without a successor for the i30cw wagon.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia says the reason for the new i30 wagon’s local no-show is sourcing, with the all-new i30cw model to be built exclusively at the company's Nosovice factory in the Czech Republic for Europe. Australia’s current i30cw has been sourced from the company's Korea manufacturing plant.
Senior PR and events manager Ben Hershman said that because the redesigned small wagon, which was first seen at 2012 Geneva motor show in March, won't be available from the Korean factory, it won't be an option for Australia.
"At this point, we have no current plans to bring the new-generation i30 to Australia," he said. "The car is only produced in the Czech Republic and it's just not available currently to our market."
Hyundai’s small wagon currently comprises about 20 per cent of i30 sales and has helped the outgoing i30 to become Australia’s fourth best selling small car with 28,869 vehicles sold here last year.
Despite the lack of a wagon body style, however, Hyundai still expects to sell 28,000 examples of the i30 in 2012, and Hershman said the Korean brand expected to retain many buyers with alternative models like the mid-size ix35 and i40 wagons.
"It wasn’t a huge proportion but it's obviously an important amount and it's our job to try and help those customers who are looking for a wagon into one of our alternative products.
"We're obviously very focused on ensuring that we have customers who are very happy with their i30cw, the current models, and we'll be looking to keep them within the brand and try and introduce them to ix35 or i40 Tourer."
With the i30cw on the way out, the Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308 will remain the only small wagons available in Australia, at least until Holden begins importing the Cruze wagon from Korea.
However, there is a slim chance that the new-generation i30cw may be sold in Australia at a later date, as the Czech factory will be manufacturing the wagons in right-hand drive for the UK market.
"If it was available, yes we would consider it," said Hershman.