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Auto blogMon, 06 Jan 2014 13:15:00 EST
Commercial vehicle sales are a key component to the success of many automakers, and in its persistent drive to become one of the largest in the world, it's a segment Hyundai can't very well ignore. But while it offers the i800 and H-series vans overseas, it hasn't offered anything bigger than a Tucson or Santa Fe in North America since the demise of the Entourage and Veracruz. That could all change in the near future, however, if these latest spy shots are anything to go by.
Pictured undergoing testing in Europe, this Hyundai commercial van prototype looks to be about the size of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ram ProMaster. There's little we can tell from these disguised spy shots at the moment, other than to note that this Hyundai is big and has small wheels, in typical European van style. We can't even tell if this is front-, rear- or all-wheel drive.
Of course, we have no indication at this point whether the van pictured here will make the transatlantic voyage to American showrooms. But with Mercedes having led the Euro van charge with the aforementioned Sprinter, and with the likes of Ford, Ram and Nissan all following suit, it seems possible. However, between the upgrades to service departments often necessary to accommodate such large vehicles and the sales retraining necessary to court commercial truck customers, doing so wouldn't simply be a plug-and-play operation - it would undoubtedly take a great deal of effort and money.
In the near future, almost no matter where you're at in the world - whether in Mexico or France - you may not be able to tell an immediate difference between Hyundai dealers. The Korean brand plans to remove some of the diversity from its showrooms in favor of a unified design everywhere outside of the US by about 2020.
The plan is called the Global Dealership Space Identity, and the end result features a modern, open showroom with floor-to-ceiling glass to look in and a bronze-colored roof section (pictured above). The goal of the unified design "is to strengthen our Modern Premium brand consistency across all dealerships, proving premium emotional experiences related to our brand and increase interaction with customers," said Hyundai spokesperson Sookjin Hwang to Autoblog via email.
The ball is already rolling on the plan with the cues being implemented at new dealers in Mexico and about 42 other showrooms worldwide. In the future even Canada may use it, according to Automotive News. "Hyundai Motor plans to fully implement the new identity worldwide within five years (2014~2018). The exact timing for each country will be different."
A 14-year-old joyrider was able to outrun police in Utah but couldn't make it around a protective parent in a pickup truck. According to KSTU Fox 13 News in Utah, the thieving youngster's grandfather reported the white Hyundai Veloster missing, and police were already searching for it. As it turns out, his grandson had taken it and was driving like a crazy person. He even sped through a park where children were playing and into a neighborhood (video below).
Eventually, one of the parents at the park had enough. When the Hyundai appeared to be coming back to the park, he hopped into his pickup to stop the out of control teen and put himself in harm's way. After the violent way he was stopped by an oncoming truck, the kid might think twice about stealing any more cars. Bystanders got most of the incident on cell phone videos, including the crash, and you can scroll down to watch them and the news report for a little more backstory.