While most manufacturers are going slow on their expansion plans for India, Hyundai has stepped on the pedal. It intends to launch at least 3 compact cars over the next 18 months, an all new hatchback, the Grand i10 with an 1100cc diesel engine to take on the Maruti Swift, the Eon with a 1 litre petrol engine to compete with the Alto K 10 and an all new i20.
The Hyundai Grand i10 is the same car that has been spotted across India over the past several months (codenamed Hyundai BA). The car still keeps the overall shape of the regular i10, but its looks have been modernised with Hyundai’s fluidic lines, which have worked well in India. Going by the photos that we have here, the car has acquired a bit of the i20 look.
Price wise, the Grand i10 will be positioned right in between the i10 and the i20.
More interesting is the diesel engine that will be on offer. This three cylinder 1100 cc CRDi diesel engine’s power specifications have not revealed, but Hyundai has never held back on power, so that’s not a worry. The petrol engine will be the same as the one that does duty in the i10 and i20.
With the i10 Grand a bunch of new launches, Hyundai wants to close the gap to Maruti in sales. The current market gap between the leader Maruti and Hyundai is quite significant. Maruti commands a 48% share in the market while Hyundai is at 22%.
Hyundai saw a decrease of 8% in its YoY sales in July 2013 but has managed to increase its market share to 25% during the first quarter of this year.
This is probably why Hyundai doesn’t want to comment on absolute number based leadership only.
C H Han, chief coordinator of Hyundai Motor India, said that the South Korean parent has asked for leadership position in India, “if not in numbers but definitely to be the most-loved brand”.
“We will continuously introduce one or two new models every year. In the small car space, we should have products in every segment, and it should be one of the best,” Han said. “We are also very strong in bigger car segment already, that’s why I think we have a bright future in India and we will continue to build our market share,” he continued.
Hyundai has plans to launch 8 to 10 cars in various segments over the next 3 to 4 years. They consist of a sub 4 metre sedan post July 2014 followed by an MPV to clash heads with the Ertiga, a compact SUV positioned between the EcoSport and the Duster in 2015-16, and its top of the line Genesis sedan for that niche luxury market.
Product launches apart, Maruti also has a significant edge over Hyundai in terms of capacity as well. Maruti has a mind boggling capacity of 1.5 million car per year and has confirmed expansion of 2,50,000 more units at its Manesar plant while Hyundai is at a comparatively lower 6,50,000 cars per year.
Also, Maruti has a widespread sales penetration of around 1200 sales points across the country while Hyundai is a distant second with 690 in comparison.
So while Hyundai may have a slew of models lined up for launch, it has quite a few other aspects that need to be covered to achieve its ambitions. Watch this space for more as it unfolds.