Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), the Indian subsidiary of the South Korean automobile firm, had stopped selling its immensely popular sedan, Accent, about three months ago. The auto-major is now planning to launch a refreshing new model in the same category in place of Hyundai Accent. A few more projects in the pipeline include a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) and a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). An official from the firm commented that when the model was stopped, the company was doing with around 1000 plus units in India. Moreover, Hyundai Accent may have taken its exit from the domestic market but it continues to be exported to other countries. As per officials, Hyundai Accent is sold off in Algeria and certain other parts of the country and export figures land around 2000 units every month. However, the last quarter of the year recorded lesser sales figures, something that probably triggered a change of plans.
This discontinuation has given the company a chance to bring in a new sedan of the same segment to India. Presently, the Indian automobile market has a lot of scope for sub-4 metre sedans, which have found a good customer base in the country. As per records, the sedan category of cars registers sales of around 22000 units every month in India. When quizzed if Hyundai would be able to carve out a space for its new model, Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice President & Division Head, Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor India Limited, said, "We have the capability and technology to bring in a product in that segment. We would want to do it along with a compact SUV and an MPV."
All this information was revealed at an event that marked the manufacturing of the firm's five millionth car at its factory at Irungattukottai, near Chennai. Rolling out five million cars in a span of 15 years stay in the Indian market is quite an achievement for the firm that called for a grand celebration from Hyundai's side. The company's brand ambassador and Bollywood superstar, Shah Rukh Khan was also seen attending the event. The firm as of now produces around 6.8 lakh passenger cars every year that would soon be incremented to over seven lakh by bringing along some minor adjustments. R. Sethuraman, Director Finance of HMIL told that the auto-major has invested more than Rs. 13000 crore in the production plants and has drawn investments of around Rs. 7000 crore by its dealers and suppliers.
In a short span of time, it has achieved the title of the largest exporter in India and also the second largest passenger car manufacturer. He said that out of the total production of five million, two million cars are exported by Hyundai India. This has helped the company employ 9500 people, however, future investments and subsequent openings would be released after proper research. Hyundai Motors India Limited is working on the strategy of bringing out one new model every year along with facelift and upgrades.
After the exit of Hyundai Accent, there were talks if the auto-major would do the same with Santro, its highly successful and first car in the domestic market. However, the company has confirmed that it has no such plans of discontinuing Santro. Since its existence in the domestic market, 1.8 million Santros have been sold and about 3900-4200 units of the car are sold every month even after competing with other brands of this segment. The entry of Hyundai Grand i10 has worked in the favour of the firm and it still works in three shifts despite the fact that the automobile industry is going through a low phase.