Seoul: Korean auto major Hyundai Motor Company will bring the diesel variant of its premium hatchback ‘i20’ by the end of this year as part of its plan of introducing at least two new products in the Indian market annually for the next couple of years.
The company is looking to enhance its share in the 10 lakh-units Indian car market through newer products.
“We currently have a 20.4% market share. For the year ending 2009 we will look at growing our market share further by 3%,” Hyundai Motor senior vice-president (Asia & Pacific Division) Young-Kil Chun said.
He said that according to industry forecasts the Indian market will grow to about 15 lakh units by 2012-13.
“We should by then have a market share of over 25%, exporting to well over 110 countries. So we will grow along with the Indian market and keep pace,” Chun said.
“India will play an important role in the Asian market. Our global target is to reach a six million (60 lakh) units capacity by 2013 (Hyundai and Kia plants combined),” he added.
Another official at HMC headquarters here said: “Hyundai plans to introduce at least two new products in the Indian market annually for the next couple of years. The i20 diesel variant would be the next in line with launch scheduled for later in 2009.”
Currently the i20 is available in India only in petrol variant and is priced between Rs4.79 lakh and Rs5.82 lakh (ex-showroom).
The official said Hyundai Motors India Ltd (HMIL), the company’s wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, is targeting a total production of 5.8 lakh units during 2009, including three lakh units for the domestic Indian market and 2.8 lakh units for export.
HMIL had reported domestic sales of over 2.4 lakh units and export of around 2.49 lakh units during 2008.
Hyundai’s plants in India, along with those in China and the Czech Republic, would witness increased activity as the company shifts focus into emerging markets and smaller cars.
“The share of emerging markets in our total sales would go up to 44% in 2009, from last year’s 42%. We plan to maximise our sales efforts on India, China and the Middle East,” the official said.
The share of small cars in the company’s global sales is likely to touch 60 per cent this year, a jump from the 2008 figure of 55%, the official added.
Hyundai, which is the fifth largest auto maker in the world with a global sales of 42.3 lakh units, is also focusing its strategy in the hybrid car segment.
“This July we would be launching the Avante LPI HEL (Alanta) in selected markets. It would be the world’s first hybrid car with LPG and lithium battery,“ the official said.
In 2010, Hyundai’s next hybrid vehicle, the mid-sized sedan Sonata HEV would be ready for the US market.
“Our plug-in HEV would be ready by 2013 and we are also developing the stop/start technology. However, despite all this hybrids will still form only a small proportion of the global auto production and we are, therefore, also looking at the alternative energy engine,” the official added.