Hyundai bring Xcient to Oz
AUSTRALIA is the hardest market for trucks to break into, but Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Australia general manager Anthony Hulme is confident the brand's new prime mover, the Hyundai Xcient, will be a winner.
The prime mover, which is very popular in Russia and other parts of Europe, as well as its home country of South Korea and the neighbouring Japan, has been in the country for just a few weeks and is available now for purchase.
Mr Hulme said Hyundai Trucks had been in Australia for almost 10 years and the Xcient was the latest edition to the range.
The 520hp, 6x4, Euro 5 compliant model was fully specced, he said, and claims to have the "world's largest sleeper cab”.
"Inside it has six foot (of) headroom and it has absol- utely everything, there's a warming drawer, a cooling drawer, and everything else you'd need,” he said.
Mr Hulme said the Xcient would suit owner drivers or small to medium fleets (someone with 10-30 trucks, for example) and would be great for container work.
"Often you have guys needing to have a sleep or waiting for containers to be loaded, so they can have their sleep and log it as a sleep,” he said.
He said the truck wasn't rated for B-double work at this point, as it was aimed at the light container work market, but that could be an option for operators.
He said while the comp- etition was very strong in the marketplace, he wasn't worried.
"The marketplace is owned by a few key players, there are a lot of American trucks that owner drivers like, as well as Volvo, who have been in this country forever,” he said.
"We're relatively new, but the good thing is Hyundai has been selling trucks since 1967 and today we've probably got around 20,000 running around in Europe. It's not like they're brand new, they are trialled and tested. Obviously the Australian market is a harsh one, it's probably the most difficult to break into.
"There are so many different types of road conditions - the temperatures, it could be freezing cold to 40 plus. I don't think there's anywhere else like it in the world. It's always good to test vehicles and evaluate them.”
Mr Hulme said staff were bringing the truck around the country to various Hyundai sites so operators were able to test the truck out for themselves.
"We've had some food feedback, a few people have asked about slightly larger fuel tanks and we can do those kinds of modifications,” he said.
He said a Brisbane driver fell in love with the model and bought one right off the bat.
"He wanted to be the first in Australia to own one,” he said.
"The nice thing is everyone is familiar with Hyundai, it's a strong brand. No one turns their nose up at it any more, everyone says 'my daughter has one', 'my neighbour has one', everyone knows someone with a Hyundai.”