The new Venue marks Hyundai's arrival in India's high-volume and ultra-competitive compact SUV market. And it promises to shake things up. Puneet Anand, Group Head — Marketing, Hyundai Motor India, speaks to Sumantra B Barooah.
The party in the compact SUV segment continues, but Hyundai is late into it. Do you expect the party to continue for a long time? What is your outlook?
We are very excited with the launch of the Venue. Today, the young generation looks at a car not as a means of transport but also as a third space. That's where this Venue will fill in the gap.
Between his/her office and home, I think the Venue will provide a very excellent third space for him or her. Also, if we look at the various powertrain options which we have given in the product which hitherto is one of the best in the segment, it also gives the confidence that 'Yes, we have been able to give the customers what they have been long demanding’.
The combination of the 1.0-litre turbo with the seven-speed DCT, also the availability of a diesel engine and another petrol engine with manual transmissions give a lot of area for people to enjoy this product. Going forward, we will continue to excite the market. I'm sure the Venue will redefine the way people have been looking at the sub-4-metre segment.
What share do you expect for the 1-litre engine in Venue's overall sales?
Well, the 1-litre is a very aspirational product. It will be one of the top-end products from our platform, and the way I look at the adoption of technologies from the people, I am sure somewhere about more than 40 percent of the overall (Venue) portfolio will be taken up by the 1-litre engine, because it's a very unique segment.
Will the 1-litre engine power other Hyundai cars?
We are a very evolving company. Yes, the 1-litre is a first product from Hyundai. Once we understand the customers' desires, why not strap it in other products also? We have very strong products like the i20 and Grand i10 and we'll be bringing such engines in higher-end models too.
Also read: Hyundai eyes top spot in India's compact SUV market