Hyundai Motor unveils new SUV
By Kim Tae-gyu
Hyundai Motor took the wraps off a sports utility vehicle Thursday, or the third-generation Santa Fe equipped with the futuristic telematics feature dubbed Blue Link.
The model is the first from the nation’s largest automaker to be armed with Blue Link, which is designed to connect smartphones with the SUV through a set of dedicated applications.
Telematics refers to the latest cross between computer technology and mobile telecommunications, enabling the provision of a wide array of services inside an automobile.
``People will be able to order the Santa Fe to start the engine or find a route at home with a few touches of their smartphones,’’ a Hyundai official said.
``In addition, they can locate the Santa Fe easily. You will not have to break a sweat to search for your car in such places as large-sized underground parking lots in the future.’’
The Seoul-based carmaker expects that the sophisticated utility vehicle will replicate the success of its predecessors ― since its debut in 2000, sales have passed 2.5 million.
``We have channeled up to 430 billion won since 2008 to come up with the third-generation Santa Fe with better style and safety. It will offer a new paradigm in the SUV market.’’
``As far as fuel efficiency is concerned, the Santa Fe is also outstanding, which will be good news for motorists at a time when fuel prices continue to rise.’’
The company said that the Santa Fe, equipped with a 2.0-liter diesel engine, runs some 17 kilometers to the liter while the 2.2-liter engine model runs 16.1 kilometers per liter.
Hyundai said another outstanding advantage of the Santa Fe is its safety system and devices.
Based on seven air bags, the car will fasten the seat belt more tightly in any emergency so as to reduce the risk of passengers being injured. The model also has a series of features, which keep drivers safe in the case of an emergency stop or sudden acceleration.
The precise debut date and prices are not decided yet but the latest version of the SUV is expected to come onto the market later this month with a price tag of about 30 million won.
Hyundai aims to sell 152,000 of the new Santa Fe this year while more than doubling the figure to 385,000 next year.
Together with Kia Motors, Hyundai Motor is one of the two flagship subsidiaries of Hyundai Motor Group.
The two combined to sell more than 6.5 million vehicles last year to join the rank of the world’s top five players and they are set to further increase the figure to beyond 7 million this year.