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Hyundai upbeat on overtaking Maruti by 2010

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Sriperumbudur, Mar 13: Hyundai Motor India, expanding its capacity to reach six lakh per annum by 2007, is confident of its potential to overtake Maruti by 2010, its President B V R Subbu said today (Mar 13, 2006).

Addressing the media on the occasion of rolling out its ten lakh car here, he said 71.2 per cent all cars exported in the A2 segment were Santro from the Hyundai stable, while Indica constituted 11 per cent of the exports. Maruti had an export share of 18 per cent.

''We have already overtaken them,'' Mr Subbu said, responding to a media query on competitor Maruti.

Hyundai had taken close to eight years to reach the one million mark but expected to reach the next million milestone in another two and half years time.

The indigenous component in the Santro was to the extent of 93 per cent, while that 89 per cent in the Accent model. The mix in diesel version of Accent was 81 per cent indigenous content while it was over 75 per cent in the Getz model.

On the new models expected from Hyundai, company Managing Director H S Lheem said 'one more model will be added in the future,'' he said adding the diesel version of Sonata would hit the market by the year-end. It would also be the first luxurious model with diesel engine fitment. The successor model for Accent, a newly-designed one, would be introduced in September.

Mr Lheem said Hyundai was working to bring two models every year from next year. It was currently focusing on the Santro model to meet the export demand while Accent was also being targeted for the export market.

To a query, Mr Subbu said already Hyundai diesel version of Accent with common rail technology was available. The introduction of diesel models would have to be supported by cost structures.
 
However, the company was keen on bringing to the market ''only the latest technology.'' If this meant that a certain cost had to be passed on to the consumer, then Hyundai would wait till such time the customer was ready. Hyundai Motor, to meet the "huge demand"' both domestic and exports, would enhance its capacity. Its new second plant, envisaging an investment of 600 million USD, would produce three lakh units per annum, raising the total production capacity to six lakh per annum by 2007.

Of the total investment, Hyundai would bring in 500 million USD through internal accruals while the balance would be generated by its vendors.

The company would continue to invest as geographically India was proving to be a "very important" destination as Hyundai could cater to the American market also.

Mr Lheem said of the three lakh unit capacity, it would set aside two lakh for meeting the domestic market needs and at least a lakh for the export segment. The introduction of the third shift last week yielded "very much successful," results essentially from the product quality perspective, he added.

Hyundai Motor recorded a 17.26 per cent growth in 2005 over previous year and the roll-out of the 10 lakh car in just 90 months was a record in the Indian automobile industry. Since its inception, it was also the largest exporter of passenger cars with exports of over Rs 1,800 crore. It had recorded a 27.2 per cent export growth over 2004.

UNI

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