The launch of the second generation Hyundai i20 in Australia reportedly has been delayed indefinitely due to exchange rate and crash test issues. The current model sold in the market is the Euro-spec first generation i20, imported from India. With the launch of the second-generation model, the European production was moved to Turkey.
Hyundai’s Indian-plant is not going to start building the new i20 with crash safety standards like that of Europe or Australia anytime soon. European demand is already satisfied by the Turkey plant and re-tooling the facility for just Australian demand is not financially viable. The Indian-spec i20 is not suitable for Australia due to its basic safety features.
Importing from India means no Euro exchange rate risks and faster shipping, but the Indian-spec model will not do well in Australia as it would get just 3-star ANCAP rating, with its top-spec variant only getting dual front airbags, compared to the six airbags on previous generation’s top-spec variant. Importing the i20 from Europe poses an issue of unfavourable foreign exchange rate.
The replacement for the old i20 is undecided for now. Hyundai Australia will continue selling the currently sold, first-generation model at-least until the end of this year.
[Source: The Motor Report]