Hyundai to increase output; will hire 1,000 people

Hyundai to increase output; will hire 1,000 people

New Delhi: The country’s second largest car maker Hyundai Motor India will ramp up its capacity by about 20% from September onwards to cater to increased demand in the overseas markets and plans to hire 1,000 people in August.

The company has already increased its output by about 25% since July and its workforce by over 1,000 employees at its two plants in Chennai.

“We have started the third shift from 10 July at plant-I, for which we hired over 1,000 people. We will start the third shift at the plant-II from 14 September and induct another 1,000 people this month for this," said Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) managing director and CEO H.S. Lheem.

After increasing its output last month, the company is currently producing about 2,000 units per day and it will go up by 400 units more once the third shift at plant-II starts.

Lheem said the company’s total workforce will cross the 12,000 mark after induction of new staff this month.

“We had very good sales in July. In domestic sales, we increased over 50% and sold more than 23,000 units," he said. The demand in export markets was growing, said Lheem.

The company has sold 45,543 units in July, of which 22,350 cars were handed over to overseas customers.

Besides, HMIL would also increase its headcount to 800 Indian staff from the existing 210 people at its research and development centre in Hyderabad.

On the export front, the country’s largest car exporter asked the government to provide incentives to compete with other auto makers from different exporting nations.

“The Korean government has already announced the completion of a free trade agreement with all the members of the European Union. All the actual import duties of all smaller cars within five years and bigger cars within three years will be nullified in all the EU countries.

“We are asking the government to consider a free trade agreement with the EU or the government should provide the same amount of incentives, otherwise we will loose our competitiveness against Korean products," Lheem said.

The EU countries contribute over 55% to HMIL’s total export volume, he said.

“The Indian government provides us the focus market scheme, but major export markets of all the EU countries are missed in this scheme. The government should expand the scope of focus market scheme," Lheem said.

He said the company’s decision to shift the production of i20 to a European country is also to save transportation costs and all the import duties imposed in the EU.

Asked about its proposed smaller car than Santro, Lheem said, “After shifting of the i20 volume, we can develop some additional volume for our smaller car than Santro. We will introduce the model by 2011, which will be produced exclusively from Chennai facility. It will be marketed in other countries also."