Hyundai Motors India, one of the early multinational car manufacturers to set up a manufacturing footprint in the country, has completed 20 years of operation.
On May 6, 1996, the Korean carmaker had laid the foundation of its factory in 1996 at Sriperumbudur, on the outskirts of Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. It began operations in 1998 when its first integrated car manufacturing plant outside Korea went on stream. The company, which launched its first product – the Santro – today has 10 models on sale in India.
At a celebratory 20th Foundation Day function, Hyundai Motor India’s top management, component suppliers and dealers renewed their pledge to become ‘a market leader’.
Hyundai has a total of 17 manufacturing plants in 8 countries. The importance of its Indian operation can be gauged by the fact that it contributes 13% of the carmaker’s global volumes.
As Hyundai Motor India completes two decades, it is now eyeing speedier growth in the domestic market. The company, which sold 484,000 units in 2015-16 and has a market share of 17.36% -- its highest ever yet – is looking to cross the sales milestone of 500,000 units in the current fiscal.
Hyundai has invested a total US$ 3.1 billion (Rs 19,582 crore) in India since inception and has sold a cumulative 41,89,875 cars in the domestic market and exported 23,56,805 made-in-Chennai cars worlwide. Vendor investment with the carmaker at estimated at US$ 1.5 billion (Rs 9,475 crore).
Talking about the company’s future plans in Chennai today, Y K Koo, managing director and CEO, Hyundai Motors India, said, “This is a very important milestone for us. Twenty years ago, we had a dream of transforming the Indian auto industry by introducing contemporary products and today that dream has come true. We were also the first proponents of ‘Make in India’ and showcasing India’s manufacturing prowess to the world. That vision is validated with Hyundai Motor India and India remaining at the heart of HMC’s global operations and a key hub for exports. We have received tremendous support from the Indian customer and I am confident that this support and co-operation continues, going forward.”
He added, “We want to maintain our leadership in India. We will reach out to more customers by launching two new products every year and expand our market share.”
Commenting on plans to enter the sub-4-metre compact SUV market in India, which has seen a lot of traction, he said Hyundai is working on this project. The company had showcased the Carlino HND14 compact SUV concept at Auto Expo 2016 and plans to introduce the production version in the next two years. The big news through is of the game-changing Creta SUV which has seen an overwhelming market response and currently has a waiting period of a few months.
No immediate plan to expand capacity
At present, the company’s total manufacturing capacity stands at about 600,000 units. According to a company official, it can stretch this capacity up to 701,000 units which will be adequate for next 2-3 years. As such, there is no immediate plan to expand capacity.
Hyundai is among India’s largest car exporters and ships its products to 92 countries. Last year, it exported 165,000 units. Commenting on the falling exports from India, Koo said, “Exports have come down largely because our key markets including the Middle East and South America have seen a slowdown. However, we sees other markets in Asia and Africa growing.”
In the first four months of this calendar year, Hyundai has sold 162,000 units in the domestic market with a market share of 16.9%, 1% higher compared to last year. During the same period, the company has seen an 8% growth rate compared to the industry’s 4%.
Hyundai Motor India has also started transporting cars using the sea route connecting Chennai port to Gujarat for domestic markets. It plans to extend this service, which is considered eco-friendly, to other parts of the country but it expects the government to extend a subsidy to make it feasible.