India’s second largest carmaker Hyundai has said it is planning to launch its first compact SUV to compete with Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster next year and has put the project on high priority.
The company told HT that it plans to become a full fledged passenger vehicle manufacturer in India and plug the gaps in the market in segments it is not present now.
The company is hopeful that the compact SUV and a 7 seater MUV on the lines of the Maruti Ertiga and Honda Mobilio to be launched in 2016, will help it top 30% marketshare in passenger vehicle segment.
The compact SUV segment has attracted a lot of attention in recent times with Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra, Volkswagen and Tata Motors also developing products for the segment.
“We are very interested in a compact SUV and I have put it on high priority,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.
“In 2014, we launched the compact sedan Xcent and plugged an area where we were not present. Every year we will launch at least one product with which we will foray into new segments. So you can expect a compact SUV soon but we are yet to finalise the platform on which it will be based,” said Srivastava.
The launch of the Grand i10 small car and Xcent sedan has seen the company’s marketshare in the passenger car segment cross 23% for the first time.
The Korean carmaker is gearing up to launch new version of its premium compact car i20 next week. The car has been designed in Europe and uses an evolution of Hyundai’s current fluidic design language. The company said the changes would be incorporated in its other cars as well.
“We launched the fluidic design with the Verna sedan and slowly it was used in other cars like Eon, Sonata, Elantra and i20,” Srivastava said.
“The design language being introduced in the new i20 would also find its way into our other cars,” he added.