EXCLUSIVE: Hyundai Motor to enter hybrid vehicle segment in India within three years

Executive Chair Euisun Chung told employees that hybrid vehicles will be a critical part of future strategy

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 30 Apr 2024 Views icon4242 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Hyundai Motor Executive Chair Euisun Chung image

Euisun Chung, the Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group told employees in India recently that hybrids will be a critical part of its portfolio in India along with EVs.

Hyundai Motor India, the second largest car maker in the country, is set to enter the hybrid vehicle segment in the coming three years.

Amid growing demand for hybrid vehicles globally and in India, the South Korean car is looking to add hybrid powertrain as part of its electrified future in India which is a departure from the pure EV future planned in the past, say sources.

People in the know say that Euisun Chung, the Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group, told employees in India recently that hybrids will be a critical part of its portfolio in India along with electric vehicles.

Chung had addressed a town hall earlier in April offering a long-term strategy for the Indian market.

Hyundai Motor India is likely to bring in the hybrid powertrain alternatives in its mid-size SUVs in the future. It may go into vehicles like Creta, Alcazar, Tucson and Verna in the coming decade, added sources close to the development.

To be sure, Kia has already committed to bringing in hybrid vehicles in India, but Hyundai was earlier non-committal about bringing in that technology with investment being prioritised for pure battery electric vehicles.

“While the company has stuck with diesel engines after the BS VI phase II, post 2027 the cost to meet future emission norms for diesel will make it even more expensive and hence it makes sense to look at hybrid technology for mid-size vehicles to remain competitive,” added another person in the know, requesting anonymity.

Globally too Hyundai Motor is pushing for hybrids. Jose Munoz, the Global COO of Hyundai who also oversees the North American market, has told global media that the company will have to extend hybrid programmes as they are well accepted by customers.

Responding to Autocar Professional's query, Hyundai Motor spokesperson said, "Hyundai Motor Group is committed to a future of electrified mobility and will optimise product strategies for each market."

Hyundai Motor India has committed Rs 33,000 crore investment in the coming decade in the country and has set itself a target of creating a capacity of 1.5 million vehicles by the end of the decade.

The first localised electric vehicle based on the Creta will be launched in less than a year and a mass market offering is also scheduled to hit the roads in 2026-27. The South Korean car maker has also partnered Indian battery maker Exide Industries to make localised cells to ensure an accessible price.

During the financial year 2023-24, about 85,000 to 90,000 hybrid vehicles were sold in India accounting for 2% of the total sales in the country. Hyundai’s closest rival Maruti Suzuki along with its global alliance partner Toyota Motor continues to drive the hybrid vehicle segment in India.

The market leader has guided for sales of about 7.5 lakh hybrid vehicle sales by the end of FY31 and it is already building affordable hybrid vehicles.

R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki recently informed that Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan has already started working on affordable hybrid technology to diversify the product offering and bring in compact vehicles with a better fuel efficiency.

Autocar India had exclusively reported that Maruti Suzuki had started working on series hybrid technology to democratise the same in the country with a more accessible price.  

Already the government of India has expressed the potential of rationalisation of the tax or cess on hybrid vehicles in the future to make them more accessible. 



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