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Hyundai’s Kona Could Be the Shot in the Arm the Brand Needs

Hyundai’s upcoming Kona SUV could be more than just another subcompact crossover. It could be what helps the brand break out of sales doldrums that are affecting both it and the entire industry.

We don’t know much about the Kona, other than what can be gleaned from a teaser shot that Hyundai released last week. I’d guess it will launch in 2018, with its public unveiling happening at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It seems like it will be set to compete against Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport and Mazda CX-5.

Kona Could Boost Sales

As a columnist at Forbes points out, Hyundai’s SUV sales were the positive parts of an otherwise glum sales report. The Tucson and Santa Fe are doing well, and that’s not a shock – Americans have fallen back in love with SUVs and crossovers as prices at the pump have fallen.

The subcompact crossover segment is one that’s fast growing – in addition to the models listed above, other key players in the segment include the Jeep Renegade and the Honda HR-V – and every OEM is looking to place entries in the class. With the Kona on the way, Hyundai can reclaim lost market share, providing that two things happen: The Kona is a hit, and gas prices stay low.

There's No Guarantees, However

Neither is a guarantee, but Hyundai’s had more hits than misses with its product in recent years, so there’s a good chance that it will come up with something that appeals to shoppers.

No one needs to panic about Hyundai being in trouble because of a few rough sales months – the whole industry is down, as the post-recession sales frenzy cools off – but its market share is small, and if the Kona is a hit, well, that can help Hyundai bounce back from the sales hit it just took.