Skip to main content

Hyundai gives up on the Azera sedan to focus on more crossover models

2015 Hyundai Azera
2015 Hyundai Azera Image used with permission by copyright holder
Just yesterday we reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) head Sergio Marchionne was laying the ax down on two core models: the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. It may have sounded shocking, but it would appear the layoff of sedans is only beginning within the automotive industry.

Hyundai has announced that it will cancel production of its Azera full-size sedan in favor of greater focus on crossovers (echoing FCA’s sentiments). Frankly, Hyundai’s news is a bit less shocking, as its Azera has been a slow seller in the U.S. for some time now. Unlike FCA, however, the Azera will likely continue to sell outside the U.S. as the Grandeur.

With Hyundai’s remaining sedan and compact models: the Sonata, Elantra, Veloster, and Accent taking up the lower cost end of the market, cutting the Azera will help the Korean automaker distinguish itself from the new Genesis luxury brand.

Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski recently stated that the Tucson compact crossover would outsell Hyundai’s volume model, the Elantra, if the company didn’t have production constraints. With some newly freed-up resources, we may see Zuchowski’s boast put to the test. Hyundai also updated its Alabama factory to allow production of its Sante Fe Sport side by side with the Elantra and Sonata, increasing the crossover’s output to 50,000 units per year.

The Tucson will gain an additional 50,000 units of output this year as well, serving up plenty of models for the reported swell of consumers looking to buy them.

In other Hyundai news, the automaker will introduce a B-segment crossover to challenge established players like the Nissan Juke, Fiat 500X, and Jeep Renegade. Of course, this crossover growth doesn’t even count the planned models that will slot under the Genesis sub-brand, which will apparently include a high-riding utility vehicle in every size category.

Keep an eye out for more automakers to adopt similar strategies to reallocate resources to surging crossover sales.

Editors' Recommendations

Miles Branman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Miles Branman doesn't need sustenance; he needs cars. While the gearhead gene wasn't strong in his own family, Miles…
Hyundai tries to make ordinary sedans more exciting with the Sonata N-Line
2021 hyundai sonata n line specs and prototype drive impressions



Read more
Hyundai is gearing up to release an American-made pickup truck
2022 hyundai santa cruz pickup truck specifications pictures crossover concept

Hyundai's on-again, off-again pickup truck's fate is sealed. The South Korean company confirmed it will build the model in Montgomery, Alabama, starting in 2021, meaning sales will likely begin during the 2022 model year.

We caught our first glimpse of the model when Hyundai presented the Santa Cruz concept (pictured) during the 2015 edition of the Detroit Auto Show. The design study wore a muscular-looking front end characterized by an upright rendition of the company's then-current waterfall grille and swept-back headlights. It came with a pair of front-hinged front doors, an additional pair of smaller rear-hinged rear doors, and a huge tailgate.

Read more
Stylish and compact, Hyundai’s next concept is tailor-made for Los Angeles
hyundai crossover concept 2019 los angeles auto show 2

Hyundai caught our attention by releasing a pair of dark preview images that give us an early look at its next crossover. The yet-unnamed model will make its official debut during the upcoming 2019 edition of the Los Angeles auto show.

As is often the case, the teaser images ask more questions than they answer. We don't even know what the model will be called yet, and where it will be positioned in Hyundai's growing range of models remains up in the air. What's clear is that the high-riding soft-roader will continue advancing the South Korean firm's design language. The grille stands out with a light-up logo -- a styling cue seemingly worn by every single concept car unveiled in 2019 -- and an insert with a three-dimensional look. Closed when the car is stopped, the grille gradually opens up as speed increases.

Read more