The Hyundai Sonata, a symbol of the middle class in South Korea during the 90s, is apparently going to be discontinued after all. The Sonata nameplate, launched for the first time in 1985, is the longest-running model in South Korea with 37 years and had sold over 9 million units.
According to Chosun, it is known that there is no plans to develop the next-generation Sonata inside Hyundai Motor Company. A Hyundai Motor official said, “The development project for the DN9, the next-generation Sonata model, is not in progress”. DN9 is a codename for a vehicle that based on Hyundai Motor Company codename table is a midsize sedan. D stands for midsize car (D segment) and N stands for sedan. 9 means the 9th generation model of Sonata.
The current Sonata on sale is the 8th-generation model and it’s known as DN8. As Hyundai Motor will start the process of suspending production of existing internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035, with the goal of ‘selling 100% of electric vehicles’. Looks like this is the main reason, together with the low sales, why there are no plans to develop the 9th generation Sonata.
On this days, the auto industry usually takes 4 to 6 years to develop a new generation with a mid cycle facelift around 3 years after the release. Hyundai Motor Company has also followed the formula for introducing almost completely new cars to the market instead of a facelift, like for example the Grandeur IG. An official from Hyundai Motor’s research department said, “Since the current Sonata (DN8) was released in 2019, the next model Sonata will appear on the market around 2025”. So the company should be already working on the next-gen 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.”
Inside Hyundai Motor Company, the ‘Discontinued Sonata’ is in an atmosphere of becoming a reality. In fact, Hyundai is working to convert the Sonata production manpower and facilities to the electric vehicle sector. Hyundai Motor 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, the DN8 (currently 8th generation Sonata) facelift model is scheduled to be released at the end of this year or early 2023, but it is highly likely to be the last Sonata model.