Marking its entry into India’s high-volume and ultra-competitive compact SUV segment, Hyundai Motor India launched its new Venue in New Delhi. And it promises to shake things up. Well worth Hyundai's effort considering it spent 100 million dollars (nearly Rs 700 crore) and four years to develop the Venue from the original Carlino concept.
Hyundai clearly is aiming for the robust sales considering it has priced the Venue at an extremely agressive entry-level price tag of Rs 650,000 with the top-end model priced at Rs 11.10 lakh, with three engine options.
India's growing importance in the Hyundai Group's global scheme of things can be seen from the fact that the country is the first to see market launch of the Venue, which will also be exported to multiple markets. It is the smallest Hyundai SUV globally and will be launched in the US, Canada and Australia as well.
Hyundai Motor India is banking on the Venue’s advanced level of connectivity to make a difference in the market. The Hyundai Blue Link has an in-built and tamper-proof device powered by Vodafone-Idea eSIM and a Cloud-based Voice Recognition platform. The Hyundai Blue Link is the Korean carmaker’s global technology introduced in the Indian market with 33 features, of which 10 are India-specific features.Subscription to the the BlueLink in-car connectivity suite is free for the first three years.
To actively support and enable customers to seamlessly connect with Blue Link, Hyundai says it has trained a team of 615 ‘Blue Link Wizards’, who in turn have trained over 1,000 Hyundai sales consultants and 9,000 dealer service personnel across India.
The new Hyundai Venue is high on safety. According to the company, the compact SUV uses advanced high strength steel and high strength steel to achieve prominent static and dynamic stiffness and improved structural rigidity. Hyundai says the Venue meets the pedestrian safety norm. Standard safety features include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX, seatbelt reminder, rear parking sensors, speed sensing auto door lock, and crash-sensing auto door unlock.
Speaking at the launch, SS Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India, said: “The Venue will be India’s first fully connected SUV equipped with our global Blue Line connected technology. The Indian market is at the centre of Hyundai’s global growth plan, and the launch of the Venue will strengthen our commitment to the Indian market.”
“Equipped with many first and best-in-segment with connectivity features, we are sure the Hyundai Venue will create a new benchmark in the segment,” he added.
The first-in-segment features include full connectivity, wireless phone charger, air purifier, wheel air curtains, Arkamsys sound and eco-coating. Best-in-segment features include seven-speed DCT, projector fog lamps, 20.32cm touchscreen AVNT, chrome outside door handles, 3-year/unlimited kilometres warranty, and 3-year RSA.
Speaking at the Venue launch, Albert Biermann, president, Head of R&D, Hyundai Global, said the company is targeting clean and connected mobility solutions. He re-asserted that the Hyundai Group is set to have 44 electrified models by 2025 and that India remains an important market in the company’s global scheme of things. "We will continue to bring diesel engines to India meeting BS VI emission norms."
High on fuel economy
Much is known about the Hyundai Venue already but what’s not yet in the public domain is the SUV’s fuel economy figures. The news is good. Topping the list is the Venue 1.0 GDI with the 6-speed manual transmission that delivers 18.27 kilometres per litre. Coming in a close second is the 1.0 GDI with the 7-speed dual-clutch auto that has an ARAI-tested fuel economy figure of 18.15kpl. The Venue 1.2 petrol, available solely with a 5-speed manual gearbox, delivers a lower 17.52kpl. Buyers drawn to the diesel for the higher fuel economy will be happy to learn the Venue 1.4 diesel is rated for 23.7kpl.
How does the Hyundai Venue’s fuel economy compare with that of rivals? Talking petrol-manuals, both the Venue 1.0 GDI (18.27kpl) and Venue 1.2 (17.52kpl) better their rivals namely the Ford EcoSport 1.5 (17kpl) EcoSport 1.0 (18.1kpl), Mahindra XUV300 (17kpl) and Tata Nexon (17kpl).
Hyundai Motor India closed FY2019 with sales of 545,243 units (+1.68%) in the domestic market and exports of 162,105 (+5.30%). These add up to 707,348 units or 99.41 percent of the total 711,525 units produced last fiscal. Will the company look to expand manufacturing capacity or rejig specific model production?
Also read: Hyundai eyes top spot in India's compact SUV market
Hyundai Venue price, variants explained