The popular Santro maker, and South Korean auto-major is expected to infuse $1 billin in India by 2020 or nearly Rs 6300 crore on areas such as newer products, development of a new building and a powertrain setup. The new office is expected to be setup in Gurgaon.
Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the wholly-owned arm is also gearing for an electric vehicle launch in 2019 and the possibility of a Santrao retro version around Diwali this year. The group has already visualised launches of nine newer products in the coming two years.
In an interview to the Press Trust of India, Y K Koo, the CEO and HMIL's MD said, "our total investment till 2020 will be over USD 1 billion."
Elaborating on the new products to be introduced, he said, "Two will be completely new models, one will be an electric vehicle, two facelifts and four will be full model changes of existing products." Electric vehicle
Koo said that the company is yet to finalise whether it will be the Ioniq EV sedan or the full electric version of SUV Kona, that will be launched here, but admitted that the company was indeed looking at launching an electric vehicle for 2019. The company at the moment is tracking customer response and EV-policy.
The first of the electric vehicle units will be imported as completely knocked ones and assembled in Chennai. but favorable market response could also lead the company to change the manufacturing to a local base in the country.
He too stressed that there was need for revising GST rate on e-vehicles from 12% to 5%, which could popularise eco-friendly locomotion.
Speaking about Santro, Koo shared, had the brand continued its sales, it would have marked 20 years of its existence (Santro had been launched in September 2018). There has been pressure on deals and customers to bring back the Santro, he added.
Speaking about the Chennai plant, he said the production was around 7.13 lakh units, but with the domestic growth of 7-8%, the plant could manage with flexible production until 2020. Exports to Algeria were not doing well, and that was the reason the company was forced to adjust units from Chennai for domestic consumption. There were rumours of a plant expansion in Andhra Pradesh, but he declined to comment any further.
The company which will complete 20 years in India, sold 6.78 lakh units with a market share of nearly 16.5%, but Koo was confident of taking this number to 17% by 2020.