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Hyundai plans diesel i10, new UV for India

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 13, 2012

B.S.Seo, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, with Rakesh Srivastav, Vice-President, at the launch of neo Fluidic Elantra in New Delhi on Monday. — S. Subramanium

The new Elantra will compete in a segment dominated by the Chevrolet Cruze, apart from Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic.

Hyundai is planning a diesel engine variant for the i10 compact hatchback to boost sales of the car which is currently available only with a petrol engine.

“With diesel car demand growing fast, we are trying to get a diesel engine for the i10 as well. We hope to do that soon,” Shar Rukh (C.H) Han, Executive Director, Hyundai Motor India, told Business Line at the sidelines of the new Elantra launch.

The Korean carmaker already sells the i10 with a 1.1 litre diesel engine in Europe, a modified version of which may be considered for India. The focus on a second fuel option is because diesel car demand has been on a high in India since 2010, while the petrol car market has contracted.

For Hyundai, petrol car sales have dipped 15 per cent this year. Today, diesel car sales account for 22 per cent of total sales, from 17 per cent last year. In Verna, the diesel variant sales share is 85 per cent, while for i20 its 70 per cent.

New UV

In line with the focus on diesel-powered vehicles, Hyundai is also working on a new utility vehicle (UV) platform for the emerging markets. This may be developed into a small SUV or MPV, officials said.

Rakesh Srivastava, Vice-President of National Sales at Hyundai Motor India, said, “The UV segment has been evolving and growing very rapidly. We’re studying the market and will announce our plans when we’re ready,”

Nearly all carmakers are focussing on the UV segment today as it has seen significant growth in recent times. Led by Mahindra, UV sales have grown 54 per cent to 1.62 lakh units between April and July this year – passenger cars only grew 5 per cent in period to 6.34 lakh units.

Asked about the plans for a diesel plant in India, the company said that it is still studying the option and has not arrived at any decision yet. Hyundai is increasing diesel engine imports from Korea to 13,000 a month from the current 11,500 units.

New Elantra

About five years after phasing out the Elantra brand in India, Hyundai has launched the new fifth generation model of the mid-size sedan in India at an introductory price of Rs 12.51 lakh. Available in both diesel and petrol variants, the new Elantra is based on its new fluidic design philosophy first seen with the new Verna.

With 750 bookings already in plant, the new Elantra hopes to lead in a segment currently dominated by the Toyota Corolla, followed by the Chevrolet Cruze, Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Jetta, Suzuki Kizashi and the Honda Civic.

The executive sedan market size is 2,800 units a month and has dipped 36 per cent to 8,356 units in April-July this year.

The company has invested Rs 200 crore at its Chennai plant to produce the sedan and expects the diesel variant to account for 80 per cent of the demand.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 13, 2012
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