Hyundai Motor Brasil (HMB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, today launched its long-awaited Brazil-exclusive model, officially entering the biggest and most competitive segment in the country's auto market.

The Hyundai HB20 compact hatchback will be the first model to be produced at Hyundai's fully-owned new plant in Piracicaba, which will officially hold an opening ceremony later this year. Production of the new vehicle will begin on Sept. 20, while sales will begin in early October.

Hyundai HB20Hyundai HB20

"For Hyundai, the launch of HB20 means a lot more than simply presenting a new model. Unlike our other models currently offered in Brazil, HB20 is the first model strategically developed and produced exclusively for the Brazilian market. This new car is optimized to the taste of Brazilian consumers and the driving conditions in this country, with years of dedication from our engineers. I guarantee with pride that HB20 will change the perception of Brazilian customers in the small car segment," Chang Kyun Han, President of HMB, said at the launching event, which was held at Hotel Transamerica Ilha de Comandatuba in the eastern Brazilian state of Bahia yesterday.

Offering modernity and equipped with the latest technologies to differentiate itself from the competition, all nine versions of the Hyundai HB20 will have a comprehensive package of items offered as standard from entry levels: Hydraulic power steering, dual front airbags, air-conditioning, a spoiler with a built-in brake lights, a rear windshield wiper and storage compartments for all passengers, to name a few. The name "HB" stands for Hyundai Brasil, while the number "20" is the company's characterization for vehicles in this segment, a category that includes models assembled on small or compact vehicle platforms.

Hyundai HB20Hyundai HB20

Hyundai dedicated approximately five years to develop the new model, which is part of the company's larger regionalization strategy. Dozens of Brazilian and Korean engineers were involved in the project during the conception phase to develop an ideal car that could handle Brazil's typical road conditions, as well as satisfy consumers' emotional needs. Mainly, Hyundai placed great importance on design, taking into account Brazilian consumers' sensitivity to stylish and fuel-efficient cars. HB20, Hyundai's first flex-fuel car, also features advanced anti-theft functions for maximum security.

The Hyundai HB20 is a compact and economical model that is poised to become a benchmark in style due to its flowing lines, excellent finish and the quality of its assembly.

Based on Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, HB20's external details accentuate the modern and sporting lines of the hatchback. Its high waist-line and rear accentuates its stylishness and exclusivity.

The Hyundai HB20's interior also differentiates itself from competitors with its modernity, sophistication, comfort and practicality. The impressive details and high quality of its finish are immediately noticeable, while chrome, metallic and leather-covered parts are options that enhance the model's stylishness even more. In its search to maximize consumer comfort, the HB20 has achieved some of the lowest noise and vibration levels in its class, while the spacious interior will surprise consumers.

The Hyundai HB20 comes with three powertrains: 1.0L and 1.6L, with a manual gearbox and 1.6L, with automatic transmission. The vehicle's 5-speed manual gearbox has precise and perfect shifting, providing comfort and a rapid response. The automatic option has four gears, with smooth changing.

Hyundai HB20Hyundai HB20

All versions are equipped with a flex-fuel engine. The 1.0L model has three cylinders and gains in power due to reduced friction and better energy efficiency, leading to lower fuel consumption, a reduction in pollutant emissions and lower maintenance costs. It is considered to be 6% more powerful than the segment's average. The 1.6L version has four cylinders and emits 23% more power than the segment's average.

The Hyundai HB20 is equipped with a continuous variable valve timing (CVVT), which optimizes the air-fuel mixture both at low and high RPM, leading to improved performance and fuel consumption.

The HB family will also have sedan and crossover versions that will come to market during 2013. The three models will all be produced at Hyundai's first plant in Brazil. The Piracicaba factory covers 1,390,000 square meters of land, of which 69,000 square meters will consist of facilities. The plant is Hyundai's seventh overseas manufacturing base outside South Korea, after Turkey, India, China, the United States, the Czech Republic and Russia. The company invested a total of US$ 600 million in the facilities.

HMB has already hired 1,600 employees with plans to increase this figure to 2,000 by 2013. Hyundai's Piracicaba plant, together with its suppliers, will create an additional 3,000 jobs. It will also indirectly generate 20,000 jobs in the region.

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