• DECEMBER 28, 1999

Hyundai mulls new launch

Riding on the success of the Santro and Accent, Hyundai Motors India Ltd. (HMIL) is now considering another launch. A capacity hike is also on the cards.

Hyundai has a presence in the Indian passenger car segment through the Santro - small car (11% market share) and the Accent (mid-sized car).

Hyundai plans to increase capacity from 1.2 m units p.a. to 2.0 m units p.a. by 2001. The company plans to sell 72,000 Santros and 6,000 Accents by FY2000.

The company's expansion plans have been fuelled by strong demand for both its flagship models. It is currently exploring body panels, components, engine, and transmission assemblies to its mother plant in South Korea. It is also exporting the Santro (as Visto) in some European markets. It is now exploring export options to other European countries, with the right hand drive. Like a lot of other manufacturers (Daewoo, Ford) Hyundai will use India as an exporting base.

Hyundai seems to have succeeded where more accomplished players like General Motors and Ford have failed. The company has positioned its models as price-competitive and has stolen a march over other manufacturers (both in small-car and mid-sized car segments). It has exploited the boom in the small car segment very shrewdly, and then leveraged its strengths by launching the Accent in the mid-sized car segment.

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