Will Hyundai's New Crossover Spell The Veloster's End?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

In an interview with Edmunds, Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski spoke of a new vehicle that

“would be a vehicle that would be really designed for Gen Y, for new first-time younger buyers…Think of maybe something that looks like a Juke or something that has edgy, dynamic styling.”

Doesn’t Hyundai already have something like that?

The Veloster, launched in 2012, was intended to be the vehicle that attracted a younger crowd, with funky styling, a focus on fuel economy and neat tech features. Sales of the Veloster have been modest, with Hyundai moving about 30,000 units annually.

The bigger issue at hand is whether Hyundai wants to have two vehicles targeting Gen Y remaining in the lineup, and if 30,000 units is enough to sustain the Veloster’s lifespan into the next-generation. For one thing, the coupe market is shrinking, whereas the crossover market is only growing. A new, Gen Y oriented crossover is also a product that could easily be sold globally, whereas a pseudo-coupe like the Veloster is very much a niche product.

If I were a betting man, I’d look for the Veloster to die come 2016, and be replaced by this new, youth-oriented small CUV. The finite marketing dollars that are at Hyundai’s disposal would arguably be better spent on the CUV, rather than trying to market both cars and have their volumes split in half. One is playing in a growing segment. Soon, the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V and others will join what is now the most popular segment in America. The fortunes of the coupe market are much less promising.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Dwford Dwford on Aug 04, 2014

    Are they really talking about designing a new subcompact crossover for the US, or are they just bringing us the new ix25 crossover they just debuted this year? http://indianautosblog.com/2014/07/hyundai-ix25-production-model-spied-135523

  • Lemmiwinks Lemmiwinks on Aug 04, 2014

    People hating on the Juke have likely never driven a Nismo M/T. As far as looks go, taste is subjective... I find "traditional" designs to be boring. Besides, the Juke cleans up nicely in Nismo guise. Seriously, when viewed in person from 3/4ths and being truly honest with one's self, it's hard to not really appreciate its lines. When I bought last year, the choice was literally down to Juke Nismo and Veloster Turbo. I like their looks equally. And the Veloster had a lot more tech and features for the money. But when you mashed the go-pedal down on the Hyundai, it just didn't have the grunt and oomph that the Nissan delivered. And cornering in the Nismo just felt much better composed than in the Turbo... an odd feeling from what is a considerably taller vehicle. Everything from the engine, transmission, suspension, seats, you name it just make the Nissan feel very much like a driver's car. I just wish they didn't skimp so much on the tech and a few interior material choices. (Only one dome light for the entire vehicle seems like letting the accountants take a bit too much away.) So please, continue hating. Call it a "Puke" (zomg sooo funny). Don't buy it. Plenty of other people have and will. I'm so glad that enough manufacturers are putting out powerful, fun to drive, and aesthetically daring vehicles for under $30K so that folks like myself have several choices in the market.

    • See 2 previous
    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Aug 04, 2014

      @Lemmiwinks I couldn't imagine doing anything if I were pushing 300 lbs., unless it was muscle (about as likely as re-electing Jesse Ventura for governor).

  • JCraig JCraig on Aug 04, 2014

    Considering that the Veloster is little more than a re-body of the Accent and has been a beta tester for their DCT and 1.6 turbo I'd say it makes sense to keep it around. The bulk of development is covered by the Accent and it wouldn't take a lot of cosmetic updates to keep the Veloster serving its purpose for years to come. I definitely understand them getting in on the CUV craze but not necessarily at the demise of the Veloster.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Aug 04, 2014

    I always thought of the Veloster as a replacement for the Tiburon. An entry level coupe to compete with the Civic and Tc. I think the older demographic that buys them likes the 3rd door for groceries or the occasional passenger.