The intent, according to Reuters, is to create a vehicle that is smaller and more affordable than the current Sonata but still roomy and upscale enough for middle-class buyers looking to trade up from compact cars. Two people with direct knowledge of the new Hyundai have reportedly referred to this vehicle as "Sonata-lite."
Frank Ahrens, a Hyundai spokesman, confirmed to Reuters that the automaker intends "to produce a new model sized between the Sonata and the Elantra." Hyundai has no plans to offer this model in any other markets.
By adding this new model, Hyundai hopes to regain some of the market share that it's lost in China during the first half of 2012. The new "Sonata-lite" is expected to launch sometime in 2014.