Hyundai confirmed it will join the booming subcompact SUV segment with a new model called the Kona, ending months of speculation about the car.
The SUV will compete with vehicles such as the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, according to Auto News.
Hyundai released a teaser image of the Kona, which shows a thin headlight angled on a curved hood in a styling the automaker describes as “progressive.”
The all-new Kona subcompact crossover will launch later in the year after previewing at the Frankfurt auto show in September.
The SUV’s name is derived from the Kona district on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hyundai said in a statement that the model will be important in its aim to become the leading Asian automaker in Europe by 2021.
The Kona is expected to go on sale after a debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September. It will be the fourth and smallest SUV in the brand’s European lineup, joining the Grand Santa Fe, Santa Fe and Tucson.
Reports suggest the Kona could share four-wheel-drive technology with the larger Hyundai Santa Fe, giving it an advantage over many subcompact crossover rivals.
Hyundai has some catching up to do to overtake rivals Toyota and Nissan as Europe’s top-selling Asian brand.
Productions in Iran
Meanwhile, Hyundai recently started production of the i10 and i20 models with local firm Kerman Khodro.
The Kerman-based company is also expected to start production of the Accent/Elantra. A deal was signed in the south-central city on March 13 by representatives of both firms.
Saman Firouzi, chief executive of Kerman Motor, said his firm will also launch Hyundai Accent production line in September.
“Our target is to employ 10,000 people by 2019,” he added.
In 2015 Financial Tribune reported that Hyundai was looking to work independently of other car companies in Iran following a meeting with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.