'Kona' Hyundai's Electric SUV To Launch in India

South Korean auto major Hyundai will drive in its first electric vehicle 'Kona' SUV into India in July, followed by a brand new 'Grand i10' before the festive season as it looks to raise its share in the auto market here.

Besides, the automaker, which is currently exists in India through its wholly-owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), is strategizing to initiate exporting its latest compact SUV 'Venue' from its Chennai factory in the next 3-4 months.

"We are continuosly appending new products in our poprtfolio for the Indian market," HMIL Senior General Manager and Group Head (Marketing) Puneet Anand mentioned. "We will introduce our electric SUV 'Kona' in India in July," he added.

He, however, refused to share specification details of the tendered sports utility vehicle strategized for India.

Hyundai had earlier trumpeted plans to introduce its first electric vehicle in a completely knock-down (CKD) form, which would be assembled at HMIL's manufacturing plant in Chennai.

"After the electric vehicle, we will launch a full model change variant of an existing small car. It will be the 'Grand i10' and will hit the roads before the festive season this year," Anand said.

Already the company has received over 20,000 bookings and the waiting period of the vehicle is around 3-4 months at present depending upon different options.

"We are presently producing around 7,000 units of the 'Venue' per month at our plant in Chennai. We have the capability to angle up the production and we plan to increase the output to monthly 10,000 units within next 3-4 months," Anand explained.

The company first aims to fulfill the domestic requirement in the market and will eventually sell to overseas countries.

"After we stabilize the sales in India, we will commence to export the 'Venue' to our existing powerful overseas markets. I think the export will initiate in the next 3-4 months," Anand said.

HMIL rushed into the outrageously selling compact SUV segment in India with the introduction of the new model 'Venue' with three engine options -- 1.0 litre turbo and 1.2 litre petrol powertrains besides 1.4 litre diesel engine -- and placed below the 'Creta' in terms of positioning and price.

"We aspire that with the launch of our various new products by the company and other automakers, the market will reinvigorate. A sturdy government coming to power at the Centre will also aid in this regard and the industry is more likely to bounce back in the next 4-5 months," he added.

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