Hyundai to introduce Santa Fe this year in India

Hyundai to introduce Santa Fe this year in India

Chennai: Korean automobile major Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) would introduce its popular Sports Utility Vehicle ‘Santa Fe’ in the Indian market as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) this year, a top company official said here on Monday.

Santa Fe was first introduced globally in 2001 as Hyundai’s first SUV.

“We will bring the Santa Fe SUV to India this year. It will be completely built unit. But after two-three years we may consider it for manufacturing as (Completely Knocked Down) unit", company’s managing director Hang-Woo Park told reporters at the sidelines of a function here.

HMIL marketing and sales vice-president Arvind Saxena said the existing SUV, Tucson, would not compete with Santa Fe as both are built on different platforms. “There are no plans to give a facelift to Tucson.It will not compete with Santa Fe". However he declined to name a price for the new variant.

On plans to introduce a 800cc small car, he said it was in the development stage and was planned to be launched in India by 2011. HMIL had invested close to Rs800 crore on producing the car, which would be slotted below Hyundai Santro, he said.

Saxena said the recently launched upgraded version of Hyundai i20 had received very good response from the market.

He said all of Hyundai’s models would be given aa facelift. “You know the segments we operate in. We will give a facelift to all models", he said. The Hyundai stable currently offers Santro, i10, i20, Accent, Verna and Sonata models.

He said HMIL planned to sell around 5.25 lakh cars this year, of which 50% is from the domestic market.

Saxena said the number of dealerships would be increased to 320 from 289 at present by the end of 2010.

He claimed the company has a 20.8% market share in South and aimed to increase it to 22% by year end.

Saxena said the company has also identified newer export markets and may export to countries like Vienna, New Zealand, Russia and Australia.“Already we are exporting to 110 nations. We want to add another 10 more markets this year", he said.

Park and Saxena were here to officially inaugurate HMIL fourth dealership ‘V3 Hyundai’ in Chennai.