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Hyundai expects auto recovery in H2, aims to grow its share

Hyundai’s sales contracted 7.2% to about half a million vehicles in 2019. Sales could remain muted in the first quarter of 2020 as India transitions to stricter emission norms, but demand will likely recover in the second half, the company said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2020, 07.47 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Korean auto major Hyundai Motor has lined up about half a dozen vehicles for launch this year to expand volumes in a market that is seeking to clamber out of a longer-than-anticipated demand slump.

Hyundai’s sales contracted 7.2% to about half a million vehicles in 2019. Sales could remain muted in the first quarter of 2020 as India transitions to stricter emission norms, but demand will likely recover in the second half, the company said.

“The industry is likely to grow in low single-digits in 2020,” Hyundai Motor India managing director S S Kim told ET. “We aim to outperform the market, and grow our market share this year.”

First off the block this year is entry sedan Aura, launched in Delhi Tuesday and priced upward of ?5.80 lakh. Upgraded versions of Creta, Tucson, Elite i20 and Verna are also lined up.

It is also studying the possibility of launching an MPV, although the timeline has not been determined yet, said Kim.

The company would offer diesel engine options despite price increases to comply with new emission standards.

“We are the only car maker to launch a BS VI-compliant 1.2 litre diesel engine in the Aura. About 30-40% of sales in the compact sedan segment come from diesel versions…BS VI diesel technology offers higher fuel efficiency, better emissions, and improved performance. We will continue to give that option to our customers,” Kim said.

As many as 338,000 vehicles were sold in the sub-4 metre sedan segment in 2019. At present, Maruti Suzuki commands a lion’s share in the space with the DZire. Hyundai has limited presence with the Xcent. With Maruti Suzuki deciding to stop the sale of diesel vehicles, Hyundai is seeking to build its presence in this segment.

Separately, Kim said that the company has curtailed production of BS IV vehicles to ensure a smooth transition. The company said it has “manageable” stocks of BS IV vehicles, and will completely stop producing them from next month.

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