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Hyundai sales likely to rise 47 pc

S. Muralidhar

Chennai, March 24

HYUNDAI Motor India (HMI), the country's second largest car manufacturer, is likely to close the current fiscal with sales of over 1.65 lakh vehicles, including exports of about 40,000 vehicles. The company's turnover for the year ending March 2004 is expected to be over Rs 5,000 crore.

In terms of sales volumes, this year's performance will represent a 47 per cent increase over 2002-03; the larger chunk of the jump in volumes comes from exports. But the buoyant sales in the domestic market would have also contributed additional volumes of about 23,000 vehicles.

This year's jump in sales in both the domestic and export markets is expected to enable the company to post a 25 per cent rise in revenues.

During 2002-03, HMI had reported total sales of 1,12,502 vehicles, of which domestic sales constituted 1,03,536 and exports, 8,966 vehicles. The company had also recorded total revenues of about Rs 4,000 crore, representing a growth of 15.4 per cent over the previous year. Gross profit at about Rs 500 crore was also up 6.4 per cent over that of the year 2001-02.

In the meanwhile, HMI is busy readying the Hyundai Elantra for launch by May this year. The premium sedan, to be positioned tantalisingly close to other C-segment passenger cars, will attempt to offer more luxurious interiors, larger interior space and class leading fit and finish quality.

Industry sources feel that Hyundai will attempt to come up with an extremely competitive price package and as such the Elantra could be the product that will further expand the premium C-segment car market next fiscal. The competing cars that Hyundai will attempt to wean customers away from will include the Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia and even the Mitsubishi Lancer and Chevrolet Optra.

The Elantra could be offered with any of the three (1.6 litre, 1.8 litre or two litre) double overhead camshaft petrol engines that the car is offered with in some of the other Asian countries. Hyundai is also planning to offer the Elantra with a two-litre common rail direct injected diesel engine. Also, early next month, HMI is set to export a large batch the Santro Xing to a new market.

Badged as the Dodge Atos Prime, these exported cars will be marketed in Mexico, the first time that a car fully built in India will be sold in this region.

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