Champagne corks have been popping at Swindon’s Hyundai dealership after the Korean brand increased its share of the UK car market.

As other brands lamented a decline in car sales – with diesel cars performing particularly badly in the wake of road tax hikes and concerns over air pollution – forward-thinking Hyundai increased its UK presence.

The all-new Kona took 4.6 percent of the small SUV market in its first full quarter, while alternatives to petrol and diesel engines – including hydrogen and electric – were up 44 percent year-on-year.

With 18,526 cars sold in March, Hyundai was the only manufacturer in the top 10 market performers to see growth in volume.

And while the compact i10 and the roomy Tucson SUV continued to be the brand’s biggest sellers, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) continued to outperform the broader market.

With the Ioniq electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid Hyundai has increased its year-on-year AFV sales by 44.3 percent.

The news follows the unveiling of the all-new Kona Electric – the first fully electric SUV – at the Geneva Motor Show. The model will go on sale in the summer.

The Show also saw the European debut of the Nexo, the world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV.

Swindon is a leader in Hydrogen technology – with Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells at Lydiard Fields leading the way in hydrogen technology and the only hydrogen refuelling station between Bristol and London at Honda’s South Marston manufacturing plant.

Dominic Threlfall, managing director of Pebley Beach, said: “While other dealers are worrying about the slump in diesel sales, Hyundai’s early and enthusiastic embrace of alternative fuel vehicles has given us something to celebrate.

“The Hyundai range continues to quickly evolve, with a new Santa Fe also announced and a new across-the-range design concept unveiled by the Hyundai Design Center.

“By the end of 2018 the oldest car in the range will be the Kona, which has only been with us for a few months.”


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