Hyundai to invest Rs 65 bn in developing e-SUV, 8 other products over 3 yrs

Y K Koo MD & CEO Hyundai Motors India. Photo: Dalip Kumar
Korean automobile major Hyundai is planning to invest around Rs 65 billion over the next three years in developing new products, including an electricsports utility vehicle (SUV). The company also plans expand its capacity by 50,000 units at its facility near Chennai through debottlenecking.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Managing Director & Chief Executive Y K Koo said the proposed investment would be towards developing nine new products over the next three years. The company has so far invested Rs 210 billion in India.

The line-up of the proposed new products includes two facelifts, two new segments and four full models, besides an electric vehicle.

One product, to be launched in the second half of the present year, will be positioned between the Eon and the Grand i10. While there are market rumours that it would be the Santro, Koo said the company had not decided on the name yet. "People, including customers, politicians and dealers are asking for the Santro, but we have not decided yet," said Koo.

As for the proposed electric vehicle the company is planning to launch by next year, Hyundai is currently studying the market. The product would likely come with charging kits.

The company had showcased an electric sedan at the Auto Expo 2018, but Koo said customers were looking for an SUV.

"We are looking at bringing Kona EV to India and targeting to sell around 50 units a year to start with, said Koo. The vehicle will be imported in the completely knocked down (CKD) format.

Speaking of production, Koo said the company planned to increase the capacity by 50,000 units by next year through debottlenecking and increasing per hour output. The company has already increased its per-hour production to 58 units from 45, and it plans to increase that further.

Hyundai had set up two facilities near Chennai, and it had originally planned a capacity of around 300,000 units a year from each. For next year, the company set a target of producing and sell around 700,000 units, around 25 per cent of that for exports.

On whether the company planned to set up a greenfield plant, Koo said such a facility would be good if at least 200,000 additional units were required to be produced. “We will think about it after 2020.”

HMIL, which at present accounts for around 15 per cent of Hyundai's global sales, is expected to maintain the momentum. Koo said the company was not seeking to be a market leader, overtaking Maruti, as it did not currently have the capacity for that. 

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