South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor rolled out its new mid-compact car Elantra in the Chinese market, setting a goal of selling 250,000 units this year.
Naming the new car Lingdong for Chinese consumers, the company unveiled the vehicle at the Shanghai New International Expo Center on Friday and began selling it on the day.
Hyundai Motor said it aims to sell more than 250,000 units of its new mid-compact in the nation this year, targeting Chinese customers in their late 20s and early 30s.
Caption: Hyundai Motor’s new mid-compact car Elantra called Lingdong in China (Hyundai Motor)
“We plan to strengthen our mid-compact car segment to raise the company’s brand profile in the nation,” Beijing Hyundai Motor’s chief Lee Byung-ho said.
The new vehicle’s main designs and features are based on the six-generation Elantra, but adjusted in a way that appeals to Chinese customers, the automaker said.
Considering the nation’s air pollution and uneven road issues, the car is equipped with an air purification system and has 10 millimeters higher ground clearance than the cars made in Korea. The new vehicle also enables users to connect their smartphones with China’s Internet giant Baidu‘s connectivity platform CarLife.
The new car has three main options based on different engine types -- its Gamma 1.6 multipoint injection, Gamma 1.6 gasoline direct-injection and Kappa 1.4 turbo gasoline direct-injection engines.
The launch comes as Hyundai Motor is struggling with dwindling sales in China. During the first two months of the year, its car sales plunged 27.6 percent from the same period a year earlier, industry data showed.
Industry watchers have cited a lack of new models appealing to Chinese customers as the reason for lackluster sales.
By Shin Ji-hye and news reports