South Korean auto major Hyundai Motor has said that the company will not shy away from bringing its luxury brand Genesis into the country, if there is a demand and would not take longer if that is the case.
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“We want to bring the Genesis brand in India...it’s a question of when. We are studying the market and we have always believed that we need to be prepared and we need to be ready. As long as there is a market and we are ready, we will bring the products,” Unsoo Kim, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), told businessline.
The Genesis cars will be competing with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW in India, who constitutes the maximum number of sales in the Indian luxury car market.
Hyundai had brought 68 Genesis cars – 43 units of G90 model and 25 units of the G80 model (both sedans) during the recently-held G20 Summit here, to be used by the Head of the States and ministers.
Assembling in India
According to sources, the company is planning to assemble the cars in its Indian factories initially, so that it can avoid high import duties here and make the prices of the products competitive, just like it has done with the Ioniq 5 electric sports utility vehicle (SUV).
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The all-electric SUV Ioniq 5 is assembled at HMIL’s fully integrated state-of-the art manufacturing plant near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, from where it exports to around 88 countries. The country’s leading passenger car exporter is also acquiring the General Motors India Talegaon plant in Maharashtra, to further expand its capacities.
Sources said that Hyundai has been planning to bring the Genesis brand to India for quite a long time now; but the market slowdown in 2018-19 and Covid-related shutdowns after that led to postponement of the plans.
However, now with the luxury car market getting expanded (expected to touch 45,000-47,000 units in 2023) and crucial decisions by the government in signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with various countries, including ASEAN, this could be the right time for the global companies to come in this growing market.
Investment in 2023
“The last 27 years have been significant, not just for HMIL, but for Hyundai Motor Company (HMC), worldwide. HMIL, with guidance from HMC, has made significant strides in the Indian automotive market,” Kim said.
In 2023, the company has also announced to invest ₹20,000 crore strategically towards building an EV ecosystem in India and is expected to sell six-lakh vehicles in the calendar year. In 2022, HMIL had sold around 5.50 lakh cars.