Hyundai MPC

The South Korean company that excels in the passenger car market has regrouped for a renewed attack on the Australian truck buyer – Report by Dave Whyte and Chris Mullett.

It never ceases to amaze me how many manufacturers want a piece of the Australian truck market. Given the limited number of trucks sold across many different weight segments, the number of players in the field is remarkable. Just as remarkable is the number of new entries into the market. Most of these now come from Asia or India, with Great Wall, JAC, JMC and Mahindra coming to mind. A recent announcement from Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Australia (HCVA) heralded the re-arrival of Hyundai in the light-truck race, and the promise of a heavy-duty model on our shores next year.

Australians are no strangers to the Hyundai brand, with the Korean manufacturer having forged an enviable reputation, and gained massive market share, in the passenger car market over recent years. Those of you with a good memory will also remember Hyundai trucks being available here for a short period many moons ago, before Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) dropped the light-truck range, and focused its efforts on selling the car and light-van products that have proven so popular.

While HMCA was selling those light trucks in Australia, the Peninsula Motor Group, under the guidance of Dilip Kumar, was the best performing dealership in Australia for Hyundai trucks. It seems fitting then, that the Peninsular Motor Group should take on the import and distribution of the current model Hyundai trucks through a newly formed subsidiary, Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Australia (HCVA). HCVA has an agreement with Hyundai in South Korea, and will act as an agent, importing, selling and supporting Hyundai’s light and heavy-duty truck products.

The problem with many of the newer brands to the local market comes in the form of product support, as many price savvy buyers have learnt, with servicing and spare parts seemingly being overlooked by importers. The deal seems to be a little different though, with dealerships around the country coming on board before the product hits our shores, and the promise of national support for the new products entering the country.

At the recent announcement of the new agreement, Dilip Kumar, managing director of HCVA, described the event as, “A historic day for HCVA and the Peninsula Motor Group”. He continued, saying, “Opportunities to secure a major and well respected brand such as Hyundai are very rare, and highly sought after. The Peninsula Motor Group has been a Hyundai dealer since 2008, and, as such, we are aware of the esteem and popularity of the brand with Australian buyers. So when the commercial vehicle distributorship became available, we immediately registered our keen interest in securing it”.

Having secured the rights to distribute Hyundai commercial vehicles in Australia, the emphasis then turned to choosing which products would be brought into the country, and offered to Australian buyers.

“While we had sampled the product range on several occasions in Korea as part of our negotiations, it was time to put each vehicle under the microscope, and select the best possible specifications to suit Australian buyers,” Mr. Kumar said.

“Once we had a product line-up secured, we spent many months visiting existing and new dealers, to detail our vision and long-term commitment. That commitment included the building of a new headquarters for HCVA, which includes training facilities, offices for administration, sales and marketing personnel, and a distribution centre.

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