Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) is completing 25 years in India on May 6 and the company that has already spent more than $4 billion (around ₹28,000 crore) till now and will continue to invest more in the coming years, for creating sustainable products/ services for customers.
SS Kim, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HMIL, told BusinessLine in a chat that over the next three years (2024), the company will invest another ₹3,400 crore from the ₹7,000 crore the company had announced two years ago.
“We always believed in giving overall customer experience starting first from Santro, which was known for its unique ‘Tall Boy’ design and features and became the most loved brand in India. So we have always believed that let us not really go after volume...volume will come automatically, as long as you keep the customer in mind and give him latest technologies and great cars. Volumes and market share will follow automatically then,” Kim said.
He said this was the very reason that despite the pandemic in 2020, HMIL achieved highest ever wholesale market share of 17.4 per cent and was selling more than 5.22 lakh vehicles (domestic and exports).
9.6 m vehicles
Since the successful launch of Santro in September 1998, the company has sold 9.6 million vehicles (6.6 million in domestic and rest exports) in these last 25 years, manufacturing 27 models and giving employment to 2.50 lakh people (direct and indirect) around its Chennai factory and is a leading contributor to the ‘Make in India’ programme, he said. On the expansion of the Chennai factory, Kim said, “Currently we have an installed capacity of 7.50 lakh units per annum, but we can stretch it up to around 8-lakh units, so our assessment says we have enough capacity to last us for at least next two years. We are watching the market and as and when we feel that we need to enhance the capacity we will definitely do it.”
On the current market scenario and sustainability, especially with challenges due to shortage of semi-conductors, he said Hyundai expects the pent-up demand to continue in the coming months and it is working with vendors to avoid disruption of supply of semi-conductors.
On electrification of the vehicles, Kim said Hyundai is looking at various options and studying the market, in terms of battery costs and body type.
“We understand that the current Kona model is basically a niche model and so in case we need to sell more volumes, we need to look at two aspects — range anxiety should not be there and price has to be such that it helps in mass adaptability. But, you will see some more options in electric cars from Hyundai Motor in few years from now,” he added.