Hyundai to launch new models across segments in India

Hyundai to launch new models across segments in India

New Delhi: Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor on Wednesday said it will introduce more models in all segments in India with an aim to change its image of a small car maker and to maintain a market share of 20% in the country.

With constraint of having a production capacity of about six lakh units, the company is focussing more on the Indian market and shifting some of its export sales to the country.

To strengthen its position in the upper mid-sized sedan segment, the company’s subsidiary - Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) - today launched the new version of ‘Verna´, in both petrol and diesel options at an introductory price between 6.99 lakh and 10.75 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

“HMIL is very important for Hyundai Motor Company (HMC). HMIL has kept pace with the growth in the Indian market and we’ll offer a full line of products here," HMC president and CEO S S Yang told reporters in Delhi.

In order to change its image from only a small car maker, the company will bring in new models in all segments such as small car, mid-size and even premium segment, he added.

“Indian market is a priority for us and we have supported this market through technology and new models... We will continue to bring in new technology," Yang said.

Hyundai, which has profitable operations in India, has so far invested $1.8 billion (over 8,000 crore) in the country. It is currently putting in 400 crore to set up a diesel engine plant here.

HMIL at present sells here small cars; Santro and i10, premium hatchback i20, mid-size sedans Accent and Verna, premium sedan Sonata Transform and sports utility vehicle Santa Fe. Sales in the Indian market contributed about 8% to HMC’s global sales of about 36 lakh units last year.

Talking about the new Verna, Yang said: “With the launch of the new Verna, I am confident that it will help in consolidating our position in the mid-size segment. Our brand image will enhance and we’ll no longer be considered as a small car maker in India."

HMIL, whose market share fell to 18.10 % in FY’11 from 20.61% in the previous fiscal, is hoping to regain its lost share and maintain it in the future.

“We would like to maintain our market share at about 20% in India. Unfortunately, our production capacity is only about 6,00,000 units per annum," Yang said.

To handle the situation, the company is focussing more on the Indian market by shifting some of its exports volumes to the domestic market after it opened two new plants in Czech Republic and Russia to meet the demand in Europe, he added.

In 2010, domestic sales of HMIL increased by 23.1% at 3,56,717 units, while exports from India declined by 8.5% at 2,47,102 units.