S.Korea's Hyundai joins rush for Indian small cars

South Korean auto giant Hyundai on Wednesday said it would roll out another new small car in India as it jostles with rivals for a larger slice of the fast-growing Indian market.

The automaker, the second-biggest in India with 21 percent of the market, aims to invest around eight billion rupees (170 million dollars) developing the car, which will be built near the southern city of Chennai.

Hyundai Motor Co. officials noted small cars accounted for 78 percent of all sales in India, where the South Korean manufacturer already produces its Santro, i20 and Getz small automobile models.

"We are building this (new) car to address this segment of the market," Arvind Saxena, senior Hyundai India marketing vice president, told reporters in New Delhi.

Saxena declined to give pricing details or when precisely the car would hit Indian roads, but other company officials indicated that a launch would likely be around 2011.

The car will be smaller than the Santro, its current Indian entry level car whose base model retails for around 260,000 rupees (3,466 dollars), and will be built at Hyundai's manufacturing complex in the southern Tamil Nadu town of Sriperumbudur.

But Saxena said the sticker price would not be as low as the Nano, the world's cheapest car, built by Indian rival Tata Motors, which was launched earlier this year at a price of around 115,000 rupees or 2,500 dollars.

"We can't build another Nano," Saxena said.

The Indian market - forecast to triple to six million car sales annually in a decade - is fast turning into a global battleground as carmakers seek new growth regions to offset anaemic Western sales.

Earlier this month, French automaker Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan announced plans to release a low-cost vehicle in 2012 with Indian partner Bajaj Auto aimed at challenging the Nano.

General Motors, Toyota and Ford are also all planning small cars for India in the next couple of years.

Saxena said the company planned to shift some of its production of its latest offering, the hatchback i20, to Europe.

"Part of the i20's production will be shifted to Hyundai's plant in Turkey during the second half of next year, mostly to cater to demands in the European markets," Saxena said.

The i20 was launched late last year and is only made in India.

The move is for logistical and tax reasons, company officials said.

But the company said it would maintain total production volume of at least 560,000 cars a year in India, partly thanks to more exports to other Asian countries.

The company is expecting a 13 to 14 percent jump in its domestic as well as export sales in 2009.

Hyundai is India's largest passenger car exporter and is vital to the country's ambitions of becoming a global auto-export hub.

Hyundai India accounts for 15-17 percent of its parent's total global sales.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Reprographics Operator

    £12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

    £6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

    Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher

    £120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer / Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee