NEW DELHI: Hyundai has decided to up the ante in India and will pump in fresh investments of over Rs 5,000 crore by 2020 to drive in new products, including new Santro and a compact SUV , which will compete with Maruti’s Brezza and Ford’s Eco Sport.
Hyundai also said that it will target cab aggregators, ride-sharing companies and taxi operators through a new tailor-made package called `Prime’ that will sell special versions of Grand i10 hatchback and Xcent entry sedan. The cars will be priced Rs 25,000-30,000 cheaper.
The Korean car major finished 2016 with sales of nearly 5 lakh units in India, and has decided to drive in eight products by 2020, including three new cars, while others will be upgrades and refreshments.“India is a critical market for Hyundai globally , and we will be increasing our investments and product line-up here as we go forward,“ Hyundai India MD & CEO Y K Koo told TOI.
The country’s second-largest carmaker behind Maruti Suzuki entered India in 1996 and has 17% market share. So far, it invested around $3.2 billion and has manufacturing capacity of about 7 lakh units per annum at its Chennai plant.
Koo said Hyundai wants to focus aggressively on “volume products“ -the philosophy behind the reintroduction of the Santro. The new Santro will hit the market in the second half of next year. It will sport two petrol engines -1.1-litre and 1.2-litre -and will be positioned between Eon mini and Grand i10.
The new Santro may sport a different name in its second avatar. It is being developed by Hyundai’s global R&D team in coordination with the India centre at Hyderabad. “This car will be meant only for India.“
The company will drive in the petrol-electric hybrid `Ioniq’ at the beginning of next year.This will be the company’s attempt to introduce environment-conscious cars. Koo said the mini SUV will enter India in first half of 2019. It will be positioned under Creta off-roader and its length will be under 4 metres as the company wants to avail of lower manufacturing duty.