Saturday, October 15, 2011
Hyundai launches Eon in India, challenges Maruti Suzuki
Meet the Hyundai Eon, the Korean automaker's new pint-sized econobox for the Indian market. Bloomberg Businessweek says Hyundai expects to sell 140,000-150,000 of the $5,496 hatchbacks in the subcontinent each year. With styling and interior treatments borrowed from higher up in the Hyundai food chain, we wouldn't be surprised.
Powered by an 814-cc 3-cylinder making 55 horsepower and 55 lb-ft of torque, the 137.6-inch Eon rides on a 93.7-inch wheelbase. That makes it 8 inches shorter than a Mini Cooper hatchback, meaning it's smaller than any four-seater currently sold in the U.S. market. Unsurprisingly, Hyundai is pushing fuel economy and interior roominess as the Eon's key selling points, claiming not only best-in-class fuel economy but that its width and wheelbase are also tops in its segment.
The Eon is designed to compete directly with the Maruti Suzuki Alto, the best-selling car in India. Suzuki Maruti currently holds 43 percent of the market, with Hyundai capturing only 20, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.