Hyundai aims to beat hatchback king Maruti Swift with expanded i10 range

Written by Roudra Bhattacharya | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 7 2013, 10:57am hrs
The countrys second-largest carmaker Hyundai hopes to beat the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the top-selling premium hatchback for eight years, with its newly expanded i10 family. With the launch of the Grand i10 on September 3, a completely new model and the fifth small car in its portfolio, Hyundai aims to sell about 15,000-16,000 units a month across the i10 brand. The current i10 sells over 8,000 units a month today, while the i20 sells about 6,000 units and the Maruti Swift about 16,000 units a month.

The South Korean carmaker hopes that factors like a small and fuel-efficient diesel engine - 1.1 litre U2 diesel, and segment-leading interior space and features will make the Grand i10 an attractive proposition for customers. At a time when consumer demand remains sluggish, this will help it expand volumes in the belly of the Indian car market small cars account for 54% share of the 2.7 million unit domestic passenger vehicle market.

We sell over 8,000 units of the i10 already. With the Grand i10 offering a more premium package and a small diesel engine with great drivability, we expect sales of the i10 family to touch about 15,000-16,000 units a month. Below that will not be viable for us, said Nalin Kapoor, head of marketing at Hyundai Motor India.

Prices for the Grand i10 are expected to start around R4 lakh (1.2 litre petrol), with the diesel variant priced about R60,000 higher. The Grand i10 will target models in the compact high entry segment like the Ford Figo, Maruti Ritz and Toyota Etios Liva. To make way for the Grand i10, top-end variants of the current i10 will be discontinued though lower variants will continue to be sold along side. However, in other markets like Europe, the Grand i10 will completely replace the current generation i10.

We hope to create a new benchmark in the segment. The target customer is upper middle class and in his 20s or 30s, who is either single or has a young family. The product concept is a trendy, compact and innovative hatch, Hyundai Motor India chief coordinator Shar Rukh (CH) Han said.

Company officials indicated that a sub-four metre sedan based on the Grand i10 is also in the works but is expected to hit the roads only by 2014-15. This will compete with cars like the Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze. Additionally, Hyundais expansive product plans for the next two years also includes a compact SUV, a new i20 and an MPV.