Another newcomer for 2012 is Hyundai's distinctive three-door coupe, the Veloster. As sporty as it looks, this, however, is no speedster despite being fitted with a six-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). Instead, it's designed to fit the tree-hugger's lifestyle and get up to 17 km/L with its 1.6L four-cylinder Gamma engine - the same powerplant found in the all-new Accent and Elantra. Though some units have already found their way into the country via grey imports, nothing beats HARI's 5-year warranty.
And finally, after six years in the market, the Santa-Fe is getting a timely replacement. Some spy shots have already surfaced around the web, but Hyundai has yet to release official images of their third-generation mid-size SUV. It will most likely be based on the current Sonata, and speculations are pointing towards a hybrid model on the way.
Having to pay a 30% import tariff, HARI makes do with a tight profit margin and can only price competitively thanks to a subsidy from its mother company in South Korea. But starting 2012, shipping duties are cut down to just 20% from a trade agreement between the Philippines and South Korea. If HARI decides to spew the savings to consumers, expect prices to drop by P40,000 to P120,000 on brand new Hyundai's. And with a target to completely eliminate tariffs by 2016, a local Hyundai assembly plant is now very unlikely.
With great things coming in 2012, HARI enters the New Year with a positive growth outlook. But will this be enough to beat Mitsubishi out of the No. 2 spot?