New Delhi: South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. is considering the possibility of manufacturing certain electric vehicle (EV) components in India, besides launching hybrid vehicles here, said a senior company executive on Thursday.
Hyundai Motors is already in talks with strategic partners to invest in the development of components for electric vehicles, and believes that there will be adequate demand for hybrid vehicles.
Apart from offering incentives for electric vehicles, the union government has also announced its support for 10,000 units of hybrid vehicles over the next three years, as part of its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme.
“The procurement division of our parent company is studying the possibility with some of the suppliers for manufacturing components of electric vehicles in India. We also have our hybrid vehicles in South Korea and US, and will bring them to India when the market is ready," said Seon Seob Kim, managing director, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.
Kim said the company is looking to launch its first electric vehicle in India in 2019. The vehicle, which will be brought into the country in a complete knock-down (CKD) form, will be assembled in Hyundai’s Chennai plant.
Among leading vehicle manufacturers, only Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Suzuki Motor Co. have announced their plans to develop components such as lithium-ion batteries and electric powertrains in India.
Besides, Hyundai India is looking to challenge Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on its leadership position in the utility vehicle segment, with the introduction of its first sub-four metre compact utility vehicle, Hyundai Venue.
According to Kim, the company will play an important role in expanding the segment and will eye for the leadership position with the Venue and the Creta.
“We will have a meaningful contribution in this segment with this new product and, with the overall SUV (sport utility vehicle) segment growing, we will look to take leadership position. This segment attracts a lot of young customers, and with Hyundai’s entry, this segment will also expand," added Kim, who took charge of the Indian subsidiary in December.
As of now, Hyundai sells 9,000-10,000 units of Creta in the domestic market. The company expects to sell another 8,000-10,000 units of the Venue, which will help it compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Mahindra XUV 300.
The compact SUV segment has been the main driver of volume growth in the passenger vehicle segment in India and is being led by Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza. The Delhi-based manufacturer sells 10,000-11,000 units of the product every month. Others such as Mahindra and Tata Motors Ltd, with the launch of XUV300 and Nexon, respectively, are looking to boost volumes.
Hyundai’s market share in the SUV segment stands at about 13%, while Maruti Suzuki commands around 26% share with the Vitara Brezza and Ertiga.
Apart from electric mobility Hyundai Motor Group is planning to become the biggest mobility solutions service provider in the country with its investment in start-ups such as Revv and Ola Cabs. Hyundai recently launched a subscription-based car leasing service with Revv, while the company will supply electric vehicles to Ola’s fleet in the future as demand for electric vehicles is likely to come from commercial fleet segment.