Last week, we confirmed (via insider information) that Hyundai is indeed bringing several new models to the country. More importantly, representatives from Hyundai Motor Corporation are already in the country and are busy laying the groundwork for a new distributor that will take over operations from Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.
With a new Hyundai distributor and a wide array of models coming, it's no wonder it's been the talk of the motoring industry as of late. But aside from the Creta, Santa Fe, Tucson, and Staria arriving in the country, there may be two more Hyundai vehicles the public should look out for.
We're talking about the Casper and the Custo.
According to an insider, the Korean automaker already has plans to bring both models to the country. There's no exact date or timeline yet and we're unable to get another source to confirm, but we won't be surprised because both are aimed at segments that could attract new customers to the Hyundai brand.
The Casper is the automaker's smallest crossover and it was first revealed last September. It measures 3595mm long, 1595mm wide, and 1575mm tall. If you've been observing new car launches in the country lately, this would be a rival to the newly launched Toyota Raize.
Even the engines are similar to the Raize: the Casper is designed with 1.0-liter three-cylinder engines. The first is a 1.0L non-turbo that makes 75 PS while the other one is 100 PS turbocharged. The transmission is a 4-speed automatic.
Next is the Custo which is a minivan currently being sold in China. Measuring 4950mm long, 1850mm wide, and 1734mm tall, it's smaller compared to the Staria. Design-wise, it borrows some styling cues from the Tucson.
The Custo has three rows of seating with the second row having captain seats. The third-row has a bench-style seat that accommodates three passengers – making it a 7-seater. Other features present include a tablet-style infotainment system, a digital instrument panel, and a button-style gear selector.
When it comes to engines, there are two options: a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four with 170 PS and a 2.0-liter turbo making 236 PS. Given the tax breaks on smaller engines (from China), the PH-spec Custo might come with the 1.5-liter to make it competitively priced.
Given the Casper's small size, it could attract hatchback buyers who wish for something taller. It might even give the likes of the Suzuki S-Presso a run for their money once it arrives in the Philippines. As for the Custo, it could serve as a smaller alternative to the Staria.
If these two models are indeed part of Hyundai's "master plan" in the Philippines, we can expect a strong recovery in the sales numbers of the brand. Of course, the success of the "new" Hyundai will depend on the value for money (pricing and specifications) and how it will impress the discerning Filipino customers.