The long-lasting debates and talks for the new car model that Hyundai plans to produce as the third model in the İzmit plant ended on Monday when Hyundai Assan CEO announced that a new SUV model will be manufactured in Turkey. Finalized in Korea, the B-segment SUV model will begin production with a new investment in 2021 with a design exclusive to Turkey. Hyundai released its new B-segment SUV model Kona to the Turkish market with an organization attended by Hyundai Assan Chairman Ali Kibar, Hyundai Assan CEO Mong Hyun Yoon and Hyundai Assan General Manager Önder Göker. Kona is the last member of Hyundai's SUV family in Europe starting with the Santa Fe model in 2001. The brand, which has achieved significant success by selling nearly 2 million SUVs in Europe over the last 16 years, will boost SUV sales with Kona. At the promotion meeting with press members, Hyundai Assan CEO Mong Hyun Yoon said he has been working to bring a third model alongside the i10 and i20 models since 2016, making an announcement to end all discussions.
Mong Hyun Yoon, who confirmed that the decision on making the third model a B-segment SUV was finalized at the beginning of 2018 in Korea, Mong Hyun Yoon said it will not be the Kona produced in Korea, neither Creta in India nor Intrado, stressing that it will be a brand-new SUV model to be born in Izmit. Mong Hyun Yoon stated that the decision to start production in 2021 was finalized. "It will be a model special for Turkey and produced only here. It will also be sent to Europe and other export markets from Turkey," Mong Hyun Yoon continued. "For this, a new investment will be made, not an addition to the ongoing production. It could even be a new factory. We started our process," he said. Responding to questions in the meeting, Hyundai Assan Chairman Ali Kibar also pointed to the significance of the conditions of the country and the ground.
"We raised the capacity of the factory to 245,000 people and three shifts. Only last year we produced 227,000 units. We exported 90 percent of our production to more than 40 countries. We even sent vehicles to New Zealand and the Caribbean, reaching over $2 billion in exports," Kibar said. "We are always prepared. If we need a new plant, we have the field. I have always wanted to produce a new Sedan model for Turkey including SUVs. We can plan to produce a Sedan with the new factory, even if there is not an ongoing project."
Hyundai Assan General Manager Önder Göker said KONA's sale target is 3,000 units in Turkey, informing that KONA takes its name from Kona Island in Hawaii, and the local meaning is windward.