Hyundai plans new models for Indian market

Hyundai Motor India (HMI) will 'soon' launch a slew of products for the Indian market, including a compact SUV, an MPV as well as a compact car positioned between its i10 and i20 models. According to CEO & MD Bo Shin Seo, the launches will be supported by a new diesel focus on the back of HMI's recent investments in diesel engine capacity.

Speaking to TOI, Seo said the carmaker's Korean parent Hyundai Motor Company has a "very strong line up" and "HMI will launch a small SUV soon. The SUV will come earlier, followed by an MPV" , he added. The compact SUV segment has seen a buzz with the Renault Duster becoming a runaway hit. HMI's arch rival MarutiBSE -1.04 % has already launched an MPV in the Ertiga and its top brass have been quoted talking about more products in the compact SUV/crossover category. Other players like GM are planning products like the Chevy Enjoy in the same segment.

Along with passenger vehicle launches, Hyundai is also sharpening its diesel focus . Last year, diesel vehicles commanded 28% of Hyundai's sales. "We have invested $300 million in a new dieselgasoline flexible plant which has a 3,00,000-unit capacity. The flexi assembly line future-proofs us from any changes in the government's fuel policy, while at the same time it protects us from currency fluctuation since we no longer import diesel engines ," he said.

Although the company is not thinking of going below the 1.1-litre engine, which is its smallest diesel engine right now, it will introduce more compact models to its current line-up in both gasoline and diesel versions. Hyundai is currently testing a new compact car which will be positioned "between the i10 and i20. It will create a completely new segment and will have better pick-up and performance than the i10 segment" , said Seo.

But one thing the top management is clear about - HMI will not get into the sub-Eon entry level segment. "Our brand positioning is all about modern premium, so we will not go below the Eon," said Seo.

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