Hyundai Motor India aims to double Verna volumes, dethrone Honda City from leadership position

The sixth-generation Verna launched at an introductory price of Rs 10.90 lakh. New model offers four petrol-only powertrain options and Level-2 ADAS with 60 active and passive safety features.

By Ketan Thakkar & Mayank Dhingra calendar 21 Mar 2023 Views icon9888 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The Korean carmaker is aiming to double its mid-size sedan Verna’s sales with its new-generation model and eyes grabbing the segment leadership from longstanding Japanese rival Honda City.

On March 21, Korean carmaker’s Indian arm Hyundai Motor India, launched the new Verna sedan, priced in the range of Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 17.38 lakh, ex-showroom. While the prices are introductory, the company claims it has already received over 8,000 bookings of the sixth-generation Verna within one month of commencement of the same.

Unveiling the new Verna, Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai Motor India, said, “We are looking at achieving twice the volumes for this new generation model. We are extremely bullish about the car and the potential in India’s sedan segment despite the action getting centered around SUVs over the last few years.”

Garg also went on to add that the overall sedan segment including the entry sedan posted a growth of 40 percent in the last calendar and the segment is expected to sustain strong growth in the current calendar. 

Garg claims that there is increased traction from younger buyers for the sedan segment versus an SUV buyer. About 40 percent of the Verna buyers in 2022 were below the age of 30.

Hyundai Motor India has sold over 19,000 units of the outgoing Verna in CY2022, and with its plan of doubling the sales, the company will target to sell about 36,000 to 38,000 units annually, claimed the top company officials.

This is yet another attempt by the South Korean carmaker to dislodge Honda City from its leadership position.

In the past too, the company had set its sight on the No. 1 position, but after the initial excitement around a new Hyundai product, the City has always emerged as the segment champion.

The all-new Verna is positioned right in the heart of the 80,000 to 90,000 units mid-size sedan segment, which has witnessed some enthused response with the Skoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus. Honda Cars India too updated the City sedan earlier in the month to retain its stronghold in the segment.  

While the company has been averaging monthly sales of 1,500 units, if it manages to double volumes as targeted, the new Hyundai Verna may inch ahead of the Honda City sales, which are currently averaging at about 2,500 units a month.

Available in 4 powertrains and 9 colour options
The new Verna has been introduced in two petrol engine options – a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated unit and a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol variant. While the former comes mated to a manual and IVT drivetrain, the latter comes equipped with a manual and DCT transmission options.

Hyundai claims the new Verna is bigger, bolder and sportier with a bigger wheelbase and width to offer a spacious cabin. The sedan has been designed to meet the needs of highly aspirational Indian buyers. The company claims it is the most connected sedan in the country with 118 embedded commands. It is further supported by Level-2 ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) features under the Hyundai SmartSense suite. On the safety front, the company claims it has over 65 active and passive safety features with 30 standard features, including six airbags.

For CY22, Hyundai Motor India recorded its highest-ever domestic sales at 5,52,511 units registering a year-on-year growth of 9.4 percent over 5,05,033 units’ sales it recorded in CY21. The cumulative sales including exports in 2022 stood at 7,00,811 units as against 6,35,413 units in 2021, a growth of 10.3 percent.

In the calendar year 2022, sedan sales grew in double digits, making up for 11 percent of the overall market - led by the introduction of new models such as the Skoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus. In the calendar year 2021, the share of sedan sales was about 10 percent of the overall market.

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