South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. is fielding new large-sized SUV next month in hopes to redeem presence in the United States and China.
According to industry sources on Tuesday, Hyundai Motor is preparing to commence the mass production of its new full-size SUV model in November at its manufacturing lines in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province in Korea. The model based on the design of the concept car Grandmaster, which was showcased at the Busan International Motor Show in June, is named Palisade, according to the company.
Hyundai Motor’s Palisade is an entirely new model, not an upgraded version of the company’s globally discontinued large-sized SUV Veracruz or Maxcruz, the company said. It will be the company’s biggest full-size eight-seat crossover SUV model, according to a company official.
With the upcoming launch of the Palisade, the Korean auto giant will aim to bolster its global sales. Hyundai Motor has been struggling with slow sales in overseas markets especially in the U.S. and China since 2016 and it attributed its sluggish global sales to the absence of large-size SUV despite the growing demand for SUV in the world’s two largest auto markets. The company plans to launch another SUV model GV80 next year, the first SUV version of its luxury brand Genesis, to accelerate its overall SUV sales across the world.
Market watchers expect that final specifications of the Palisade would be disclosed early next month as an automaker generally takes pre-orders for a new model a week earlier before the kick-off of mass production.
Meanwhile, other local auto brands are joining Hyundai Motor to reinforce their SUV lineups. GM Korea is planning to introduce mid-size crossover Chevrolet Traverse, which has been well received by customers in North America, in Korea early next year after it failed to attract local drivers to its small SUV Equinox. Kia Motors Corp. also is preparing to launch a new version of its large SUV model Mohave at home.
By Kang Young-woon and Lee Ha-yeon
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