Hyundai To Launch Its First Electric Vehicle In India Next Year

This image courtesy of Hyundai Motor shows the carmaker's all-new Santa Fe SUV which will launch next month in the domestic market and in the United States this summer

The new model is expected to go on sale towards the end of 2018.

The South Korean brand has given the first glimpse of its upcoming Santa Fe family SUV, which shows that the brand is breaking away from its more traditional conservative looks and embracing the kind of quirky styling seen on the new Kona city SUV.

Hyundai will also look at bringing in an electric version of its Xcent entry sedan as well as Ioniq mid-size, India MD & CEO YK Koo told TOI here.

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The Kona is the newest, smallest SUV in the Hyundai lineup, and it hits dealers in just a few months.

The grille gets a three-dimensional "cascade" treatment. But with utility vehicles now accounting for half of US new auto sales, and a growing share of the global market, the South Korean company will be expanding its mix over the next several years, starting with the new Kona electric model.

Hyundai's light-truck sales grew 12 percent in 2017, while its vehicle sales tumbled 21 percent.

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In 2017, Hyundai suffered declining sales in major markets such as China and the US due to a diplomatic row and a lack of new models, respectively. By contrast, 65 percent of total USA light-vehicle sales went to light trucks.

As well as an overhauled exterior, the new fourth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe will have a more spacious interior with improved rear legroom and headroom. The competing Toyota brand, by contrast, offers seven crossover and SUV nameplates in the USA, plus two pickups. Its U.S. sales rose 1.5 percent to 133,171 past year. However, the Hyundai Santa Fe might be looking to come back to the Indian vehicle market since the Honda too is readying the launch of the CR-V.

Based on the sketches, the Santa Fe spots its signature hexagon grill design, with a thin chrome line at the top to connect the headlamps.

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