Even as Maruti Suzuki dominates India sales, Hyundai India says chasing market share not a top priority

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Updated: September 19, 2017 5:58:23 AM

The country’s second-largest car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India, doesn’t seem to be perturbed by the fact that while market leader Maruti Suzuki's market share is strengthening, it is not able to increase its own share.

Hyundai Moto India, Maruti Suzuki, Car manufacturer, Market shareThe country’s second-largest car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India, doesn’t seem to be perturbed by the fact that while market leader Maruti Suzuki’s market share is strengthening, it is not able to increase its own share. (Image: Reuters)

The country’s second-largest car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India, doesn’t seem to be perturbed by the fact that while market leader Maruti Suzuki’s market share is strengthening, it is not able to increase its own share. At 17% market share in the first quarter of this financial year from 17.7% a year ago, company executives said chasing market share or improvement in volumes is secondary to providing premium quality vehicles to the domestic market. While the company’s market share in the passenger vehicle segment has fallen, its closest competitor, Maruti Suzuki, has zoomed ahead to a commanding 50.6% market share in the first quarter of this fiscal, compared to 46.2% in the year-ago period.

Puneet Anand, group head – marketing, Hyundai Motor India, said the company is not eager to increase volumes as they will gradually rise with public trust. “There are various car call-backs and other scandals in the auto industry and our priority is to avoid that. We are a modern premium brand for whom volume is important, but quality is even more important.”  Hyundai aims to maintain a market share of above 17% in the Indian passenger vehicle segment, despite the rising volumes of Maruti Suzuki. It plans to manufacture around 6.75 lakh vehicles in the current calendar year.

The company’s manufacturing plants are running at a near 99% capacity. The Korea-based parent company is now mulling an additional manufacturing plant in India. “While we are running at almost full capacity, the international markets where we export, such as the West Asia and Europe, have been slow and so we will compensate that with more domestic volumes,” says Anand. The company currently has capacity of around 7 lakh per annum in India, a market which is very important to Hyundai Motor Group. India is the third-largest market for the company, contributing to almost 15% of its overall global business, behind China and the USA.

“We expect India to become the second largest contributor to Hyundai’s business very soon as we grow on par with the Indian auto industry. By 2020, we hope to sell 1 million units annually,” he adds. To strengthen its market position in the country, Hyundai is planning to pump in `4,000 crore over the course of three years, with plans to launch six new vehicles. Managing director and CEO YK Koo had said, “The slowdown in our growth has not been due to capacity constraints, but mainly been due to lack of new launches from our side since July 2010, when we brought the Creta to the Indian market.”

The company has lined up a slew of launches in the next three years – starting with the second half of 2018, when it is going to launch a family car, which will be positioned between the Eon and the Grand i10. “It was originally supposed to be titled the Santro. But it is likely to be named something else, keeping the current market scenario in mind,” said Anand. This will be followed by a compact SUV in 2019, to compete with the likes of Maruti Vitara Brezza and Ford Ecosport.

– Deepak Kumar

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