Hyundai drops Azera in U.S., skips ’18 model year for Veloster

on Jul6

U.S. sales of the Hyundai Azera peaked in 2006 at nearly 27,000. Photo credit: HYUNDAI

Hyundai is trimming its U.S. car lineup as it gears up for the Kona subcompact crossover coming early next year. The stylish near-luxury Azera sedan is being dropped at the end of the model year after a decadelong trend of declining sales.

Hyundai is retooling the sporty three-door Veloster hot hatchback and plans to skip the 2018 model year and introduce the next generation after the first of the year, said Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson. The 2017 Veloster will be built until the end of the calendar year.

U.S. sales of the Azera peaked in 2006 at nearly 27,000, but have declined as customers migrate to the Genesis luxury sedan lineup or to crossovers. Hyundai whacked $1,250 off Azera’s price in 2014, but that did not halt the sales decline. Through June, Azera’s U.S. sales were 1,792, down 30 percent from the same period last year.

U.S. sales of large cars have skidded 18 percent this year through June in an overall car market that has shrunk 12 percent.​

U.S. sales of the Veloster are off 38 percent through June. Veloster, in its sixth model year, is long in the tooth for a sporty hatchback; newer entries, such as the Ford Focus ST and RS, Honda Civic Si and Type R and Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 have added tough competition in the segment.

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