New Delhi: Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea’s largest automaker, may make light commercial vehicles in India as the country’s economic expansion boosts demand for transportation.
The company, which on 5 March 2007 denied a report it will build a factory in Pune, is studying the possibility of opening a truck plant, said Arvind Saxena, vice president of sales at Hyundai Motor India Limited, in a phone interview.
“We are evaluating the option of manufacturing light commercial vehicles, but nothing has been frozen yet,” Saxena said. “We’re looking at the cost structure of making such vehicles so that we can compete well.”
India’s economy, Asia’s fourth-largest, grew 9.1% in the six months ended September 2006, the fastest semi-annual pace in 15 years, according to the finance ministry. Tata Motors Ltd., the country’s biggest truck and bus maker, dominates the light commercial vehicle market with its 1-ton mini truck, the Ace.
Hyundai earlier denied a report by the Hindu Business Line that said the automaker will build a factory to make light commercial vehicles in Pune.
“There is no truth in it,” Rajiv Mitra, spokesman for Hyundai Motor India Limited, said in a phone interview. “No land has been acquired at all.” The company also denied the report in a statement.
Tata Motors sold 1,01,192 light commercial vehicles in India in the first 10 months of the fiscal year ending March 31. That’s about two-thirds of the combined 1,53,447 units sold by the country’s seven light truck manufacturers, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Hyundai, the second-largest carmaker in India, produces cars such as the Santro and Getz hatchbacks and the Verna and Sonata Embera sedans at a factory on the outskirts of Chennai.
The company is building a second car factory, an engine and transmission facility and a research and development center at the existing plant to meet rising demand in India.