at an amazing price. And the result was the Xcent.)
You seem to be very confident about the Xcent…
Our confidence is based on the confidence of the customer. In fact, in the first month of the Xcent’s launch, it was able to move to the second position in the Indian small sedan segment, overtaking another brand that was launched a year ago. While the leader dropped by 18% in volume, the car that earlier held the second position dropped by 40% in volume. The Xcent sold about 6,300 units and moved to the second position. The Xcent, I must add, has shaken up the Indian small sedan segment. The Xcent effect is this: If last month the industry declined by about 8%, we grew by about 9%. Also, last month we posted a market-share of 19% in passenger vehicles and 25% in passenger cars.
What the Xcent and the Grand i10 did to the competition, the new City did to the Verna and the new Corolla may do to the Elantra…
The market is dynamic and companies are coming out with new products. But competition is not new to Hyundai. Yes, any new product draws volumes because of the novelty factor it enjoys, but beyond that, it will succeed only if it has a value-proposition attached to it. We are keenly watching the market.
You now have five hatchbacks in India, one more premium over the other, from the Eon to the i20. Does this range stop at the i20 or do we see the i30 hitting the Indian market any time soon?
Hatchbacks remain India’s favourite cars and enjoy a 68% market-share. Yes, the i20 is among the finest hatchbacks in the country, but we also believe that above the i20, there is room for a very premium hatchback. Therefore, we are planning to come up with a new car that will be slotted above the i20. People are going to love it because it will give them easy manoeuvrability in a congested city environment along with the luxury and space associated with a mid-size sedan.
So, we believe it is the i30, after all…
Well, we are still working on the nomenclature.
Will it be launched before Diwali?
Around that time, maybe.
Will it be priced under Rs 10 lakh?
A few days ago it was reported that Hyundai is ‘voluntarily’ recalling 2,437 units of Santa Fe SUVs manufactured between June 26, 2011, and September 26, 2013. Is