New Delhi: Country’s second largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India is planning to step up its export for the rest of the year by about 8%.
Besides making India its global small car hub and increasing the R&D headcount by four fold, the company would also start exporting its engines from the Chennai plant from next year.
“In the first half, about 42% of our produce were exported to over 95 countries. But with the slowdown in the domestic industry, it is likely to increase up to 50% for the second half,” Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Managing Director and CEO Heung Soo Lheem said.
“The company would produce 5.3 lakh units this year, of which about 2.7 lakh units would be exported,” he added.
“From the next year, we will increase our production capacity to 6.3 lakh cars including 20,000 CKD units, by starting the third shift,” Lheem said.
“We would export the CKDs to Turkey and other Asian countries from the next year,” he added.
HMIL currently exports Santro, Getz, i10 and Accent across the world. It, however, would replace export of Getz with i20, after the introduction of the car in the market.
“We will start exporting engines from the next year, mainly to our Korean partner Kia Motors. A certain portion will also go to Malaysian and other Asian markets,” Lheem said.
The company has its engine and transmission plant in Chennai, which was set up at an investment of 250 million dollar, and has a capacity of 2.5 lakh units per annum.
On making India as the Korean auto giant’s global small car hub, Lheem said: “Our mother company has decided that all small cars will be produced from in India in future and so all R&D for small car will happen here.”
The company will increase its R&D headcount by four fold to 800 from its current 200 by next year. It is setting up a new centre at Hyderabad IT Park, which would be opened by April 2009.
When asked about HMIL’s forthcoming launches, Lheem said, “We will introduce i20 by the end of this year and the car will exclusively be manufactured in India.”
“The company plans to introduce at least two models every year to become a market leader in the country,” he added.
“We have several diesel products lined up at our R&D centre. We are positively considering diesel variant of i10 and the i20,” Lheem said.
“We would possibly introduce diesel i10 by next year,” he added.
Lheem further said HMIL is carrying out a feasibility study in the US market to introduce i10 there.
“We are now working on feasibility of exporting i10 to North America,” he said.
As part of HMIL’s 10th year celebration in the Indian market, Olympic Gold medalist Abhinav Bindra today flagged off the company’s two i10 cars, which would travel through 10 countries and culminate at Paris Motor Show.