Hyundai to ramp up Xcent output to lower waiting period

May 17 2014, 10:03 IST
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Hyundaiís domestic sales have started looking up, thanks to new launches, including the latest Xcent compact sedan. Hyundaiís domestic sales have started looking up, thanks to new launches, including the latest Xcent compact sedan.
SummaryHyundaiís India sales have started looking up, thanks to new launches, including Xcent compact sedan.

Amid sluggish market conditions, Hyundaiís domestic sales have started looking up, thanks to new launches, including the latest Xcent compact sedan. The company is confident it can extend the April growth momentum till the end of the year, with the Xcent and Grandi10 set to play a major role. It is exploring new geographies for Xcent exports, which it plans to begin soon. Also, Hyundai will ramp up Xcentís production to lower the waiting period, says Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (marketing & sales), in an interview with R Ravichandran. Excerpts

Hyundai seems to have turned the corner on the domestic front with 9% growth in April.

Of course. We were struggling in the first two months of 2014 owing to the overall slowdown in personal cars. While January recorded degrowth of 2.6%, February saw a marginal decline. However, after the launch of Xcent, things changed on the domestic front with 3.4% growth in March, followed by 9% in April.

Xcent has received an overwhelming response. Within six weeks of launch, we have received more than 16,000 bookings and aproximately 200,000 enquiries. We have delivered 6,700 Xcents in April 2014 and become No. 2 in the 45,000-units-per-month compact sedan segment, after Maruti Dzire. We hope to deliver 10,000 units in May. There is a significant rise in footfall at dealerships across regions, and most dealerships are witnessing record daily bookings. We hope to maintain this momentum.

There is a strong perception that a new car finds buyers for a few months. Is that true of the Xcent?

History shows that Hyundai products have been in great demand. The Grandi10, launched in August/September last year, is one of the top players in the compact hatch segment and had nearly 83,000 customers in last 7-8 months, with average monthly sales of 10,000+ units. Xcent, a compact sedan based on the Grandi10 platform, will do equally well and be our major

driving force.

The Xcent has a waiting period of 2-3 months depending on variants. Are you ramping up output?

We are continuously working on operational efficiencies to cater to demand and lower the waiting period. We will certainly look at ramping up production capacity and reducing the waiting period sharply.

In fact, compact sedan happens to be the fastest growing segment with monthly sales of 45,000-50,000 units. And itís been growing at more than 27%.

Do you plan to export the Xcent?

We have been Indiaís leading exporter for years, with 46%

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