Hyundai Canada will no longer offer the Accent, choosing to focus on newer models and product that’s in the automaker’s pipeline, the company said in a surprise statement Friday.
The entry-level subcompact vehicle was redesigned for the 2018 model and unveiled in September 2017. At the time, there were sedan and hatchback versions available.
Hyundai Canada in 2019 dropped the sedan and offered only the hatchback, which will end its run after the 2020 model year, the company said.
A Hyundai Canada spokesman told Automotive News Canada in an email that the news release issued Friday pertains only to Canada and that he couldn't speak for the Accent's fate in other markets.
Retiring in its fifth generation, the Accent sold 462,494 units in Canada through June 2020 since it was first brought to market in September of 1994.
The Accent managed to retain the number No. 1 spot in the competitive subcompact car segment in Canada for an unmatched 10 consecutive years, from 2009 to 2017, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.
The automaker said the Accent “found particular success in the province of Quebec, where Hyundai continues to hold its strongest market share in Canada.”
Hyundai axed the hatchback version in the United States back in 2018 because U.S. consumers were — and still are — increasingly flocking to crossovers.
Hyundai is steering consumers to the Kona, a subcompact crossover, which also arrived in 2018.
Canadian sales of the Accent fell 54 per cent from 2017, the year before Kona arrived on the scene, through 2019.
At the same time, Hyundai Canada sold 14,497 Konas in 2018 and 25,817 in 2019, an increase of 78 per cent.
“In the midst of the most aggressive product offensive in Hyundai history, we are rapidly improving the breadth and depth of our successful product portfolio,” Hyundai Canada CEO Don Romano said in a statement. “The successful introductions of both the Hyundai Venue and Kona represent great opportunities to offer the very best, award-winning vehicles on the market to our customers who are seeking entry-level and well-equipped transportation.”
Hyundai Canada sold 313 Venues in 2019. It was only available for about a month last year. It has sold 3,022 through the first six months of 2020. Accent sales are down 59 per cent to 1,362 through the same time this year. Meanwhile Kona sales are down 28 per cent to 9,408.
Hyundai Canada says it’s retiring the Accent as the company’s product portfolio “continues to grow at an unprecedented rate…with even more to come.”
Dennis DesRosiers, head of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, said the move makes sense.
“I don’t think the hatchback wasn’t as good as the sedan,” he said. “This is them consolidating their product lineup. I think it’s a good move at this time.”
He cited the shift to crossovers and SUVs and the pandemic as reasons for Hyundai to shrink its lineup.
“They can conserve capital. They have too many models. And they’ll get more bang for their buck,” he said. “Their other products are quite good.”