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Friday, Sep 29, 2006

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Hyundai to focus more on domestic market

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To launch diesel version of Getz next year

Bangalore , Sept. 28

Hyundai India has said that henceforth it will give preference to its domestic demand rather than to its export obligations.

Hyundai India Vice-President for Marketing and Sales, Mr Arvind Saxena, told Business Line that the company would not hesitate to cut down on its exports if there was an increase in domestic demand. Once the new plant comes on stream, Hyundai's capacity would double to six lakh cars. Of which it plans to export 50 per cent of the cars. "But if the domestic demand increases, we will not hesitate to reduce the number of cars we export," Mr Saxena said. In the past, Hyundai, bogged down with export obligations, was forced to reduce supply to the domestic market.

Currently, Hyundai exports one-third of the cars it produces in India. The car major expects to post revenues of $2 billion this year. Among its overseas operations, India is the largest exporter of Hyundai cars. The Indian plant will also be a global small car hub for the company.

New development

In another development, auto component maker, Mobis, part of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, will start supplying modules to the car maker in India from April, 2007. Mobis is in the process of setting up a plant in Chennai.

Mr Saxena said Hyundai is rejigging its marketing strategy for Getz. Hyundai has already said it will launch a diesel version of Getz next year. Its competitor, Swift too will have a diesel version towards the end of the year. Hyundai will also start exporting Getz to several South American countries.

Hyundai India's Managing Director, Mr H.S. Lheem, said the company would set up its R&D facility either in Hyderabad or in Chennai. He said Bangalore lost out because it had become extremely expensive.

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