Hyundai to “Kill” the Sonata

South Korean automaker Hyundai has decided to “kill” the Sonata mid-sized sedan, putting an end to the nameplate which was first introduced in 1985, and has been the longest-running model in South Korea for over 37 years with over 9 million units sold during this period.

Related: Hyundai to Launch New Generation Sonata in 2023

The current generation Sonata (DN8) has been suffering from sluggish sales so much that Hyundai already closed the Asan Plant line where the sedan was being made, while the Hyundai Grandeur which is built in the same plant is selling like hot cakes.

Sonata embaressing
Embarrassing sales of Hyundai Sonata in its home market of South Korea

Inside Hyundai, the DN8 is admitted as a failed model, but it was reported earlier that the company had decided to skip a mid-cycle facelift in favor of a full model change (called DN9) that will arrive in 2023.

Donata DN9
Speculative rendering of Sonata DN9, which might now arrive as a DN8 facelift

But now it has been learnt that that Hyundai has no plans to develop the next-generation Sonata. According to a Hyundai Motor official, “The development project for the DN9, the next-generation Sonata model, is no longer in progress”. DN9 is a codename for the vehicle where D stands for midsize car (D segment) and N represents sedan. 9 means the 9th generation model of Sonata.

Related: Should There Be More D-Segment Sedans?

In current era, automakers usually take 4 to 6 years to develop a new generation model with a mid cycle facelift around 3 years after the release. An official from Hyundai Motor’s research department said, “Since the current Sonata (DN8) was released in 2019, the next model Sonata should appear on the market around 2025”. So the company by now, should be already working on the next-gen model but it stopped. An official from a partner company that has supplied parts to Sonata also said, “There is no confirmed content about the development of DN9 parts.”

hyundai sonata 194 0418012b12560c3b

According to company insiders, Hyundai is working to convert the Sonata production manpower and facilities to the electric vehicle sector. Hyundai stopped production of the Sonata and Grandeur at its Asan plant in South Korea for about a month in January, and shifted some of its production facilities to produce the All-New IONIQ 6. However a facelift model for the current DN8 Sonata is scheduled to be released by the end of this year or early 2023, which will keep the car fresh for another couple of years before the “Sonata” is officially retired.

Source: The KCB

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