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Hyundai Santa Fe knows the way to success

7 June 2006
Immediate release

Hyundai Santa Fe knows the way to success

The launch of the new Hyundai Santa Fe has exceeded the company’s expectations, with 88 units selling in the first month on the market.

As anticipated, the bulk of sales have fallen in the diesel model range, with almost 70 percent of sales being diesel powered.

Managing Director of Hyundai New Zealand, Philip Eustace said that these sales figures in New Zealand reflect the success of the model overseas where production is barely keeping up with demand for the completely new SUV.

The popularity of the Santa Fe comes at a time when many car manufacturers are struggling to move larger vehicles as resistance to increased fuel prices starts to hit motorists in the pocket.

“We are finding people are appreciating the lower running costs offered by the Santa Fe, whist also offering significant feature levels and “large car” like space which simply can’t be achieved without stepping up into significantly larger vehicles in other brands,” said Mr Eustace.

The positive response to the Santa Fe has been reinforced by the rave reviews it has been receiving from the motoring press across New Zealand.

Dave Moore of The Press in Christchurch claimed a few minutes behind the wheel of the Santa Fe diesel would make one an “immovable fan” of the 2.2 litre diesel unit.

Colin Smith of Hawkes Bay Today compared the Santa Fe with the BMW X3 in “all respects – other than price – and really confirms how good this latest Hyundai really is.”

The SUV segment remains a fast growing segment of the new vehicle market, forming 21 percent of the total 2005 vehicle sales, or 15,443 vehicles.

Hyundai finished last year third in the segment, doubling its sales share from 5 to 9.6 percent with its combined Tucson, Terracan and Santa Fe range. This put Hyundai ahead of Mitsubishi, Honda and Subaru.

Mr Eustace said the new Santa Fe’s popularity is also helped by the multiple engine types and wide range of variants available, giving motorists a good choice of power and price.

The power plants include either Hyundai’s economical 2.2 litre turbocharged diesel, or the 2.7 litre V6 petrol option. Available in five and seven seat variant options, the Santa Fe is priced from $45,490 through to the top level 2.2 litre diesel Elite at $54,990.

A full range of luxury features are included on Elite variants, including dual zone climate control air-conditioning, power adjustable front seats, 6-disc in-dash CD changer and steering wheel mounted audio controls, often associated with far more expensive European vehicles.

Complementing the interior comfort is a full range of active and passive safety features across the entire range, including an advanced Electronic Stability Program (ESP), six airbags, active front head restraints and ABS braking with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS).

Hyundai are now renowned in New Zealand for not compromising safety in lower spec vehicles, across all the range including Sonata, Grandeur and Tucson, as well as the new Santa Fe. These models have collected a wealth of safety awards, including five-star NHTSA NCAP safety ratings for Sonata, Tucson and the old Santa Fe. All of these features have been translated into the new Santa Fe, which has not been tested yet by the NHTSA.

The high level of safety features across all model levels is something other manufacturers tend to charge as extras.

Philip Eustace attributes the Santa Fe with lifting the bar on SUV style, performance and safety to “better than most sedans”.

“It is very pleasing to see in only the first month on the market the motoring public appreciate this as well,” he said.


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