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.

 

  • Get to the point
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: Sales Manager

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss