Hyundai Motor India, the country’s largest passenger vehicle exporter since inception, on Thursday achieved yet another milestone by rolling out its 3 millionth ‘Made in India’ car — Aura (export name — Grand i10) to Colombian market from its state-of-the-art plant in Sriperumbudur near Chennai. The company said that it is targeting to export 200,000 units in 2020 and will add new markets to offset the domestic slowdown blues in India. Addressing journalists at the plant site near here, SS Kim, managing director & CEO, HMIL, said, “The fastest Made in India 3 millionth export roll out is a significant milestone as it showcases the global success story for brand Hyundai. HMIL began exporting cars in 1999 with first batch of 20 Santros to Nepal and reached first milestone of exporting 100,000 cars in four years and 10 months in October, 2004.
“In March, 2008 it exported its 500,000th car followed by its 10,00,000th car and 20,00,000th car in February 2010 and March 2014, respectively. In last 20 years, Hyundai continued to be the leading exporter of passenger cars since its inception.” “Being the largest exporter of PVs, Hyundai India holds 26% market share in overall exports from India during 2019. Of the total 706,272 vehicles exported from India in 2019, Hyundai India’s share was 181,200 units, which is 26% of the total exports,” Kim said.
Responding to a question, he said: “We are looking at a single digit growth in 2020 and targeting to export 200,000 units during this year to offset the fall in domestic market. With some tight regulations in fewer countries of APAC, LA, African regions, the company looks to increase export of more cars in completely knocked down (CKD) format.” According to him, the company, which is exporting to 88 countries in four continents, will look at adding more countries going forward, including eastern European market. “We have flexible manufacturing capabilities at our plants in India to meet both domestic and export demands,” he added.
To a specific question, he said: “Given the marked hike in cost of acquisition due to BS VI transition coupled with poor sentiment among customers, we expect first half of 2020 will be a subdued one and hope to see some revival in the second half. At the most we may end the calender with a single digit growth.” On the just launched ‘Aura’ sedan, he said: “The company is targeting to sell a minimum of 5,000 units a month and 50,000 units in total during 2020 in the domestic market. We just began export of Aura to Columbia on a trial basis and we will look at adding more markets by March/April. South Africa, one of the key markets for Hyundai India where it holds 8.5% market share, will lead the overall export pack this year.”
According to him, with peers such as Maruti, Tata Motors, Toyota opting out of BS VI diesel models, Hyundai India sees a huge opportunity for its diesel products. “Of the targeted sale of 50,000 Auras this calender year, we see at least 20% will be of diesel versions. The company is also seeing good market potential for its new model Aura fitted with diesel engines as some major car makers have announced their focus would be only on BS VI compliant petrol engine models in that segment.
Moreover, the price difference between petrol and diesel is increasing now and the market opportunity for HMIL’s Aura model with diesel engine is sizeable.” On the inventory side, he said: “We are on target to launch BS VI vehicles as scheduled. Our BS IV vehicles inventory is at manageable level. The company will continue to produce BS IV vehicles for export purpose only.” According to Pankaj Tiwari, assistant vice-president (exports), the company does a lot of customisation in its models for export markets.
In 2019, as many as 792 customised variants were exported, Tiwari said. HMIL will be shipping out 130 units of its new car Aura to Colombia mainly for homologation in that market. To a query on the revival in rural markets, the official said, “While the first two quarters of current fiscal saw a double-digit degrowth from rural markets, but we could see these markets started reviving slowly and Q3 saw a flat growth. With the better monsoon, improving infrastructure, things are improving on the rural front and we hope to do better this year on the rural front.”
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