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Hyundai India says number 2 spot defensible as Tata Motors pips co

Hyundai was a market leader in sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment in 2020 and 2021 with almost 23% share of the market, driven by the compact SUV Venue and the mid-sized Creta.Premium
Hyundai was a market leader in sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment in 2020 and 2021 with almost 23% share of the market, driven by the compact SUV Venue and the mid-sized Creta.

  • Tata Motors overtook Hyundai as the country's second largest selling passenger vehicle maker in India in May, selling 43,341 units, compared to 42,293 units that Hyundai sold in the same month

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South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Company's India unit believes its long-standing number-two position in the Indian passenger vehicle market is defensible, even as competition from homegrown automaker Tata Motors is intensifying and "raising the benchmark" for the company.

Tata Motors overtook Hyundai as the country's second-largest selling passenger vehicle maker in India in May, selling 43,341 units, compared to 42,293 units that Hyundai sold in the same month. This is the second time in the last six months that Tata Motors has pipped Hyundai to grab the coveted number 2 spot in the Indian car market. However, it is important to note that Tata Motors has been steadily inching closer to bridge the gap it has with Hyundai's market share, on the back of a steady production ramp-up of both its SUVs and EVs.

"Monthly numbers or one or two months of sales here and there don't define Hyundai. We are long-term players and have investments and plan long-term commitments. We've already announced the introduction of 6 battery electric vehicles (BEVs), by 2028 and the introduction of the IONIQ 5 this year. Not to mention, we brought in the Kona EV to India in 2019 when no one was talking about ranges of 450 kms plus in an SUV body style," Tarun Garg, Director – Sales & Marketing, Hyundai India told Mint.

"We fully acknowledge that the benchmarks are changing, and as a leading global player we understand that the competitive landscape is changing. So we are not complacent at all and will continue to work hard. Even our internal benchmarks are being raised. Who would want to lose their number 2 position? Least of all Hyundai."

Garg asserted that Hyundai's number 2 position in the Indian market is "100% defensible".

Hyundai’s production has been hit harder than Tata Motors as a result of the ongoing global shortage of semi-conductor chips, which at least partly explains the automaker’s inability to scale up production at a time the passenger vehicle market, especially that for SUVs, is seeing robust demand.

To be sure, Hyundai was a market leader in sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment in 2020 and 2021 with almost 23% share of the market, driven by the compact SUV Venue and the mid-sized Creta.

In the first five months of 2022, SUV sales has overtaken that of hatchbacks for the first time in the Indian car market – SUV sales accounted for41% of the total market, while hatches formed 37.4% of the sales. Within this segment, compact SUVs form 21.3% of the overall market. Hyundai on Thursday launched its newest offering, a facelift of the Venue to refresh its position in this important volume-driving segment.

"We are and have been very confident long-term players in India and have robust plans", Garg said, adding that, “We are able to spot trends and introduce the right products because we are close to the customer. We also have a very strong parent and a full array of products spread across ICE, hydrogen, and electric. We will continue to study the market and launch products when the time is right, and that is a continuous product."

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