Hyundai Pins Hopes on All-New Sonata

Hyundai will showcase a completely new model of the medium-sized sedan Sonata, which sells over 400,000 vehicles in the world every year. The new model comes five years after the last overhaul.

Hyundai will unveil the seventh-generation car in March. The project name is LF Sonata, and the specifications will be published at the end of this month. The firm plans to release it in the U.S. in July.

Expectations are high. Hyundai saw sales drop four percent in the domestic market last year and market share in the U.S. dip from 4.9 percent in 2012 to 4.6 percent in 2013. The carmaker is hoping that the new Sonata can reverse the trend.

The sixth-generation YF Sonata was released in September 2009 and sold nearly 1.9 million units worldwide until the end of last year.

Based on the minimum retail price here, which is around W20.02 to 20.40 million (US$1=W1,062), the Sonata alone netted Hyundai over W9 trillion in sales per year.

Whether the new Sonata con continue the success story remains to be seen since for the moment imported cars in the same class are getting more and more popular.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 13, 2014 08:06 KST