SUVs to contribute 65% of Hyundai Motor India's volumes in CY24
The company anticipates strong demand from its refreshed Creta mid-size SUV that will drive SUV contribution up from 60% in CY23.
Hyundai Motor India, which introduced the refreshed version of its best-selling mid-size SUV - Creta - in New Delhi today, at introductory prices ranging from Rs 10.99 lakh to Rs 19.99 lakh, ex-showroom, aims to grow SUV contribution in its total volumes in CY24.
The updated Creta has received 25,000 bookings with 55 percent of the bookings for petrol, and 45 percent for diesel. The company says automatics comprise 40 percent of the orders received so far for the refreshed Creta.
While its eight-model SUV portfolio, including the Exter, Venue, Creta, Alcazar, Venue N Line, Kona, Tucson, and Ioniq 5, contributed to a total of 60 percent of the Korean carmaker's India volumes in CY23, Hyundai Motor India aims to grow the contribution to 65 percent this year. Starting with the launch of the Creta that contributed to 9% of the carmaker's volumes in CY2015, Hyundai's eight-model SUV portfolio formed 60% of its volumes in CY2023.
It anticipates strong demand from the facelifted version of the Creta, which is nearing the 1-million milestone mark, and is likely to reach the landmark around mid-February 2024, since its introduction in the Indian market in July 2015.
The Creta contributed over 26 percent to Hyundai Motor India's sales in CY23, and formed 44 percent of the company's combined SUV volumes last year. The mid-size SUV's volume contribution to Hyundai's overall domestic sales was pegged at 25.5 percent in CY22, and over 24 percent in CY21.
"Therefore, the Creta's contribution to our volumes is growing every year, and with every refreshed version of the SUV. It is a very strong product forming more than a fourth of our volumes last year," said Tarun Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor India.
The new Creta has been given a thorough refresh after almost three years, and according to Garg, "The customer of today is much more aspirational and functional, and at the same time, the market is increasingly becoming cluttered. The customer is younger and impatient, and the attention span is decreasing, and therefore, in order to be in the mind of the consumer, and make him or her stay interested in the brand, it is important to bring a thorough product refresh at the right time."
"When we work on a facelift, we anticipate global trends and consumer demands well in advance. Given the all-encompassing update to the interior, exterior, and technology of the car, we do not consider the new Creta as a facelift, but a full model change," Garg said.
While the Creta went home to around 40,000 buyers in the first six months (July-December) after its launch in July 2015, and achieved the 100,000 milestone in August 2016, the number was doubled in August 2017. By July 2018, the company had clocked cumulative sales of 300,000 units of the popular mid-size SUV.
April 2019 saw the company hitting the 400,000 mark, and after the introduction of the second-generation Creta in March 2020, the 600,000 mark was realised in April 2021.
According to Garg, "The Creta opened India's passenger vehicle (PV) market to global trends, and from mere 14 percent SUV share in 2015, the SUV contribution to the PV segment grew to 49 percent in CY23. One in three SUVs sold in the mid-size SUV segment in India in the last eight-and-a-half years, has been a Hyundai Creta."
"The Creta has not just reshaped the mid-size SUV segment, it has redefined the Hyundai's course in India. The Creta has evolved into a brand phenomenon, and from 9 percent volume contribution in 2015, the Creta contributed 26.1 percent to our domestic sales in CY23," he added.
Loaded with tech and features
The updated Hyundai Creta gets an in-depth makeover, including addition of high-on-technology features such as ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), dual-zone climate control, and connected displays for the infotainment and instrument cluster.
The refreshed Creta gets a host of aesthetic updates like new DRLs, LED headlamps, connected tail lamps, and alloy wheels on the outside, as well as a new ivory theme for the cabin, and a redesigned dashboard with two 10.25-inch screens being the centre of attraction.
The digital cockpit boasts of highly-intuitive UI with 12-language support. The infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 360-degree camera. The digital instrument cluster, on the other hand, relays turn-by-turn navigation, and video feed for the blind-view monitor.
The company is offering over 70 connected car features bundled in its Bluelink suite, that comes free for 3 years, along with 16 free OTAs.
In terms of safety, the refreshed Creta gets six airbags and ESC as standard, and gets 19 Level-2 ADAS features that work using cameras and a radar. The combined system continuously supervises the vehicle surroundings and proactively responds to mitigate any particular risk.
The Creta comes with three drivetrain options - a 1.5-litre petrol with MT and CVT; 1.5-litre diesel with MT and 6AT, and 1.5-litre, 160hp turbo-petrol engine paired with a 7-speed DCT. While petrol contributed 60 percent to the Creta's sales in CY23, diesel was pegged at 40 percent. With the reintroduction of the turbo-petrol engine in the refreshed Creta (the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol was discontinued last year), the company estimates that some volumes will be taken off the diesel powertrain, which is likely to settle around 35 percent in CY24.
While Hyundai's competitors - Toyota and Maruti Suzuki - offer hybrid powertrain options in their Hyryder, and Grand Vitara mid-size SUVs, respectively, the company says that its product strategy for each market depends on the tax regulations, government guidelines, and local market situations.
"In the context of 5 percent GST on EVs, compared to 43 percent on hybrids, the case is much stronger for BEVs than hybrids in India. And that is why we are focusing on localisation of battery packs, which will allow us to introduce more all-electric products in the future," said Garg.
"Therefore, while as of now, the case for hybrids is not strong, in future, if we see there is merit, we would consider hybrids as we have the technology available globally. Ultimately, it is about consumer demand, and we would rather put our energy where there is a clear policy roadmap," he added.
Forward-collision-avoidance assist, lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, high-beam assist, and rear cross-traffic alert, are among the key ADAS features on offer. The car also comes with expansive use of Advanced High-Strength and High-Strength steel to improve its structural rigidity.
"The customer is changing, and aspirational value and safety are becoming important considerations than fuel efficiency and absolute price. While the price-to-value equation remains, the absolute price has gone lower in the pecking order," said Garg.
"The average age of Creta customers has reduced by 5 years to 38 years, and the average car prices are going up every year because of the regulations, SUV's contribution in the PV segment, and the contribution of higher variants in overall car sales. The average selling price in Hyundai's portfolio stands closer to Rs 11 lakh," Garg highlighted.
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