Hyundai says the new Tucson has become the brand’s fastest-selling model in Europe since the model’s sales launch in September.
The compact SUV, which replaces the brand’s ix35 in the region, has been given a more rugged design, along with advanced safety and comfort technology.
The Tucson is benefiting from booming demand for SUVs and crossovers. It has "exceeded all previous Hyundai model launches in Europe," said Thomas Schmid, Hyundai Europe’s chief operating officer.
Hyundai expects the Tucson to change perceptions of the brand in Europe, thanks to its bolder design and upscale features and equipment. The Korean marque still has low brand awareness despite its EU sales rising 11 percent in 2015 to 456,926 vehicles for a 3.3 percent market share.
The Tucson’s emotional design will turn heads, Schmid said at the model’s press launch. Clinics showed that potential buyers were positively surprised when they found out the Tucson was a Hyundai, he said.
“With the ix35, we sold between 80,000 and 90,000 a year. We expect to go to 100,000 or even more very quickly with the new Tucson,” Schmid said.
More than a quarter of Hyundai’s sales in Europe come from its SUV range.
Hyundai says the Tucson now offers a wide array of new safety technologies more usually seen on premium cars at an accessible price. The SUV’s equipment options include autonomous emergency braking, which recognizes pedestrians in the vehicle’s path at speeds up to 70kph or other vehicles at speeds up to 180kph to either reduce the severity of a collision or avoid one entirely. It also has a system that alerts the driver to other vehicles in the way when reversing from a parking space.