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We are the only manufacturer to provide Diesel BS-VI in all categories: Hyundai Motor India CEO Kim

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 21, 2020 Published on January 21, 2020

From next month, we will do 100 per cent BS-VI models, says Hyundai Motor

Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), which was hit during last year’s overall automotive industry slowdown, is now hoping to do better in 2020. The company is also going to launch BS-VI models across all its models in the coming months and claims to be the first company that will provide BS-VI Diesel even in its hatcbacks and compact sedans. In an interview with BusinessLine, SS Kim, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HMIL, shares more on future course and new products line-ups from the company. Excerpts:

You gained market share in 2019 when the industry fell. So what is the outlook for this year? Has the situation on ground really improved?

Automotive demand will be determined by various factors. The most important one would be macro-economic factor but I’m not in a position talk much about it as I requires a big picture. If I focus on automotive sector, we could see some changes in the situation, particularly in terms of dealer stock and liquidation of BS-IV vehicles. Last year, most dealers expressed their concerns regarding liquidating the BS-IV stock and they were reluctant to take the BS-IV products. But, what we saw from October is that most OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have liquidated most of the old stocks and from December onward they have started mass production of BS-VI vehicles. From first quarter of this calendar year, we could see flat (no increase or decrease) in sales as compared to last year in terms of demand...that can be interpreted or perceived as the market is improving. From the second quarter, we are hopeful that market will be on growth path.

How long will you take to launch BS-VI models in all your categories?

We are in the process of introducing our BS-VI vehicles. We have started mass production from last year and this month a few more. From next month, we will do 100 per cent BS-VI. We are also the only manufacturer to provide Diesel BS-VI in all our categories – be it compact cars, sedans or SUVs. We will continue to bring diesel options to the market.

How are you managing the prices of the BS-VI Diesel than the existing models?

A lot of media reports estimated that there will be a lot of difference in pricing but I strongly believe that price increase on BS-VI Diesel will be affordable. As an OEM, we have been doing our best to minimise the cost increase. Our R&D and procurement people have done a great job.

With the launch of BS-VI Diesel version in Aura, do you still think diesel is a good fuel for environment?

Diesel used to be a very strong product in European countries, not only for taxi drivers but also for private owners. A lot of them still drive diesel vehicles. The main reason is that people still love to drive diesel in terms of power and driving experience. As long as it is within BS-VI norms, the diesel technology is much more environment friendly. In India, even in existing models in the sub-four metre sedans, 30-40% of sales are in diesel for personal usage.

What is your outlook for HMIL in 2020. Will it grow over the last year?

We will be launching five-six new cars this year. Our objective is to outperform in this very competitive market situation and hopefully gain more marketshare. We don’t have specific market share or volume target internally. Instead we will focus on more qualitative products. We certainly believe to do better than last year.

How many all-new product/ segment that you plan to launch this year?

We are not present yet at the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment. We are working on the seven-seater MPV that will be launched in next two years. India is a dynamic country with ever changing market in terms of demand. We are also seeking some options on products or segments which are not available in the world yet, but maybe if we can create some great products with India specifics.

What will be attractions for this year’s Auto Expo?

We’ll be showcasing our future -- the most important is the new Creta, new Tucson and we are also doing a lot of technology oriented showcasing. Since we are future mobility solutions provider, we will be showcasing some of those concepts – whether it is alternative power-train or electric cars. You can actually see a lot of new ideas and innovations, which will become a reality going forward.

A lot of other OEMs are launching electric cars now. Do you think Kona has already reached a level of mass-vehicle category? How do you see the competition from companies like MG and Great Wall Motor?

We are still at an early stage for the electric vehicles. To be honest, our Kona EV is not profitable yet but with Indian customers with a strong intention can contribute a lot. With government officials too, there needs to be reasonable conclusion that EVs are the right solution for mobility. That is why we invested on Ola as well to promote EVs and all our efforts are giving positive results. Our competitions, (MG and Great Wall) are bringing some products which are sold in Chinese market, but ours are different because our products are sold mainly in European and US markets apart from Korea. And, as of now we are introducing those global products to the Indian market and we are now preparing for some India-made EVs for both domestic and exports. We have a terminology MECA – Mobility, Electrification, Connected and Autonomous – which is for Hyundai future products.

What will be your demand from the government in the upcoming Budget?

Last year as an OEM and a part of the industry, we demanded for GST rate cut, substantial support from the government side, but still the government did not announce some support plan. I know the government has a lot of other priorities, but in case it can help the automotive industry too, that will be great.

Published on January 21, 2020
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