Hyundai has unveiled its much-awaited Accent
at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. Formally launching the vehicle, codenamed LC
during its development stage, Hyundai group chairman Chung Mong
Ku indicated that the luxury mid-size car will be simultaneously available in South Korea
as the Verna and in Europe and India. There will be petrol and diesel versions for India,
while Europe will have to be content with the petrol version.
The car comes in three models -- a
four-door sedan, and three-door and five-door hatchbacks. While Hyundai will sell all
three models in Europe, it will sell only the four-door sedan in India. The car will be
powered by 1.5 litre, 94 bhp engine. Initially, the Accent will be available in India with
manual transmission, but an automatic transmission version will also be made available
Hyundai Motor India, the Indian subsidiary
of the South Korean car maker, has done pilot production of the Accent at its plant near
Chennai. The company proposes to start bookings for the car from 12 October 1999.
Accent will be a luxury car in the same
segment as Maruti''s Esteem, Fiat''s Siena and Daewoo''s Cielo. It will be priced lower than
the 1.5-litre version of the Honda City and the Mitsubishi Lancer.
J.H. Kim, executive director, marketing
and sales, Hyundai Motor India, says the company expects to have a market share between 25
and 30 per cent in the luxury car segment. He hopes the diesel version to be popular.
Meanwhile, the Fabia from
Czechoslovakia''s Skoda has been a big hit at the Frankfurt show. A scaled-down version of
Skoda''s Felicia, its features make it a better choice than the flagship Octavia sedan.
Skoda may, in the final run, opt for Fabia for its Indian operations when it sets up a
unit in the country.
Another car that is in the limelight at the show is the
small car from Chrysler that experts feel could make its way to the Mercedes Benz India
plant at Pune.