Hyundai to launch four new models in two years
Chennai: Hyundai Motor India is planning to launch up to four new models in the next two years, including a compact SUV, to enhance its position in the market. The company, which is slated to introduce a new compact car later this year, is also mulling taking on Maruti Suzuki's Dzire and Honda Cars India's Amaze with a new sub-four metre sedan. "Compact SUV is a very lucrative segment India. I think we are a bit late but we are developing a compact SUV to be launched soon," Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Managing Director and CEO Bo Shin Seo said here. Company officials said the compact SUV is part of HMIL's strategy to launch up to four new models in the next two years.
When asked if the company planned to launch a sub-four metre sedan from the same platform as its upcoming compact car codenamed BA, Seo said, "That's a different car." He declined to share further details but sources said the entry level sedan could hit the market between 2014 and 2015. Dzire and Amaze qualify for the excise duty benefit, enjoyed by small cars in India. At present, any car with a petrol engine capacity under 1,200 cc or diesel engine under 1,500 cc, but length shorter than four metres, attracts an excise duty of 12 per cent.
Besides, HMIL is also studying the multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) segment, where Maruti has tasted success with Ertiga. "The MPV segment is also fast growing, we are definitely looking at it but our priority will be the compact SUV," Seo said. On the upcoming compact car, he said apart the model will be positioned between the company's i10 and premium hatchback i20.
"Apart from the domestic market, we will be exporting it. We expect it to be our largest selling model," Seo said. At present the i10 is HMIL's top selling model and it clocked about 1.6 lakh units last year. When asked about the sales expectations for 2013, he said: "The market continues to be tough in India and this year we are looking at about 2-3 per cent growth in domestic volumes." In 2012, HMIL had sold around 3.8 lakh units in the domestic market and around 2.5 lakh units were exported. The company is the second-largest carmaker in India after Maruti Suzuki.