Hyundai to sell 2 lakh i10 from its India plant

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) Seoul-based Hyundai Motor today said it aims to sell two lakh units of the new 'i10' compact car next year from its plant in Chennai with the largest car exporter of India planning to export half of its i10 production.

''Hyundai Motor targets to sell one lakh units of the i10 in India next year and export one lakh units to Europe, Asia, the West Asia and other regions and total sales going up to three lakh units by 2009,'' Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Managing Director H S Lheem told reporters here.

Priced between Rs 3.39 lakh and Rs 3.98 lakh, the company today launched its new compact car 'i10', which is the first car from an international manufacturer to make its world's debut here, with India slated to be the sole production and export hub for the car.

Currently, HMIL exports mainly Santro as 'Atos Prime' to Europe and also its premium hatchback 'Getz'.

The company said while Santro is at the lower segment of the 'B' segment, the new i10 is positioned at the higher end.

The company will also launch the diesel version of i10 in India sometime next week. However, the diesel engine will be imported from Seoul for i10's which are to be exported in January. ''We will start producing the diesel engines later next year from our Chennai plant,'' said Mr Lheem.

Mr Lheem also ruled out any reduction in prices of Santro and the company Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Arvind Saxena added that ''we do expect some amount of cannibalisation to take place with customers moving from the Santro to the i10, but as long as it is within the Hyundai family we do not see any problem.'' Mr Arvind said the sales of Santro and i10 will be about 1.8 to 1.9 lakh units. Sales of the flagship Santro is expected dwindle anywhere from 70,000 to 40,000 units.

Mr Lheem added that the company will continue with Santro's exports and that the company already has orders from several countries like Columbia and Mexico.

The company earns about 45 per cent of its revenues from exports.

This year HMIL expects an overall turnover of 2.3 billion dollars, which is expected to go up to 3.5 billion dollars next year.

The company is investing close to 14 million dollars in its fully integrated R&D plant in Hyderabad which will house its various developmental wings, said Hyundai Motor Company President Jae KookChoi.

It is also pumping in Rs 600 crore to expand capacity. It is also expected to set up its second plant which will produce engine and transmissions for the company and is expected to come up by July.

The new plant will enable the company to produce an additional three lakh units per annum, with a targetted sale of 5.3 lakhs units per annum next calender year. ''The company plans to increase its market share from the 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent,''Mr Lheem said.

UNI

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