It's all about CNG, AMT, and petrol engine with the new Nios, says Hyundai's Tarun Garg | The Financial Express

It’s all about CNG, AMT, and petrol engine with the new Nios, says Hyundai’s Tarun Garg

Addressing the media at the launch of the 2023 Grand i10 Nios, Tarun Garg, the COO of Hyundai India, discusses why the carmaker dropped the turbo variants of the Nios and its plans with the hatchback for India.

tarun garg hyundai
Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai India

The trend amongst car buyers in India is seeing a shift towards SUVs, as they are more practical. However, the hatchback segment still leads vehicle sales in India. Customers are looking for better comfort and features, which has given a massive sales window to cars such as the Swift and i10.

Taking this into consideration, Hyundai has updated its offering in the hatchback segment, the Grand i10. Launched at Rs 5.69 lakh onwards, Hyundai has given the hatchback a refreshed design, added features, and also rejigged its variant lineup by dropping the diesel engine and bringing in a CNG variant.

The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios has been one of Hyundai’s longest-produced vehicles and is also an important product for the carmaker in the segment. Addressing the media at the launch, Tarun Garg, the Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai India says, “It is still an important segment for India,” says Tarun Garg, the Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai India, addressing the media.

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However, Hyundai, instead of offering a wide array of engine and gearbox options, has stuck to one petrol engine, mated to either a 5-speed manual or an AMT. The new Nios is also available in CNG, but there is no turbo petrol option, as Garg says that forced induction suits bigger vehicles such as the i20 and the Venue better than the Nios.

Garg goes on to say that when it comes to the Nios, it’s all about AMT, CNG, petrol engine and manual gearbox. The COO adds that the Kappa engine in the Nios is good enough to offer what the customer wants without a turbocharger.

The same goes with the diesel engine as well, as Hyundai’s dropped them from the lineup as well, and this is owing to low penetration, says Garg. He adds that the demand for diesel engines in this segment is low, and to offer an optimised lineup, Hyundai has decided to drop the diesel trims from its lineup.

However, this time around, Hyundai is concentrating on CNG power. The COO says that CNG is an important part of the i10 Nios’ strategy. In 2020 Hyundai was averaging around 1,000 CNG cars per month, and in 2021, Hyundai saw that number go up to 3,000 units per month, and last year, Hyundai has been selling an average of 5,000 CNG cars per month.

Hyundai has seen robust growth in 2022 over 2021 with CNG cars, and Garg goes on to add that the Nios contributes to almost 25 percent of Hyundai’s CNG car sales. Now, with a host of segment-first features like 6 airbags, footwell lighting, and a reverse camera with audio, Hyundai is looking to take a bigger chunk of the hatchback market share.

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First published on: 20-01-2023 at 19:14 IST