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Hyundai to launch i20 diesel by year-end

Pranjal Bhuyan / PTI  |  Seoul (South Korea) 

Korean auto major Company will bring the diesel variant of its premium hatchback 'i20' by the end of this year as part of its plan of introducing at least two new products in the Indian market annually for the next couple of years.

The company is looking to enhance its share in the one million-units Indian car market through newer products.

"We currently have a 20.4 per cent market share. For the year ending 2009 we will look at growing our market share further by three per cent," Senior Vice-President (Asia & Pacific Division) Young-Kil Chun said here.

He said according to industry forecasts the Indian market will grow to about 1.5 million units by 2012-13.

"We should by then have a market share of over 25 per cent, exporting to well over 110 countries. So we will grow along with the Indian market and keep pace," Chun said.

"India will play an important role in the Asian market. Our global target is to reach a 6 million units capacity by 2013 (Hyundai and Kia plants combined)," he added.

Another official at HMC headquarters here said: "Hyundai plans to introduce at least two new products in the Indian market annually for the next couple of years. The diesel variant would be the next in line with launch scheduled for later in 2009."

Currently the is available in India only in the petrol variant and is priced between Rs 4.79 lakh and Rs 5.82 lakh (ex-showroom).

The official said Hyundai Motors India Ltd (HMIL), the company's wholly-owned Indian arm, is targeting a total production of 580,000 units during 2009, including 300,000 units for the domestic Indian market and 280,000 units for export.

HMIL had reported domestic sales of over 240,000 units and export of around 249,000 units during 2008.

Hyundai's plants in India, along with those in China and the Czech Republic, would see increased activity as the company shifts focus into emerging markets and smaller cars.

"The share of emerging markets in our total sales would go up to 44 per cent in 2009, from last year's 42 per cent. We plan to maximise our sales efforts on India, China and the Middle East," the official said.

The share of small cars in the company's global sales is likely to touch 60 per cent this year, a jump from the 2008 figure of 55 per cent, the official added.

Hyundai, the fifth largest auto maker in the world with a global sales of 4.23 million units, is also focusing its strategy in the hybrid car segment.

"This July we would be launching the Avante LPI HEL (Alanta) in selected markets. It would be the world's first hybrid car with LPG and lithium battery," the official said.

In 2010, Hyundai's next hybrid vehicle, the mid-sized sedan Sonata HEV would be ready for the US market.

"Our plug-in HEV would be ready by 2013 and we are also developing the stop/start technology. However, despite all this hybrids will still form only a small proportion of the global auto production and we are, therefore, also looking at the alternative energy engine," the official added.

First Published: Tue, May 05 2009. 13:35 IST