Hyundai Creta to Verna, Korean carmaker targets 2 lakh units sales in last 4 months of 2017

By: | Published: November 24, 2017 2:33 AM

The Korean car-maker has achieved cumulative domestic sales of 50 lakh vehicles over its 20-year journey in India

Hyundai Creta, Verna, Korean carmaker, HMIL, Grand i10, Elite i20,  retail sales, SUV Creta, diesel, petrol, gst, Verna salesTwo, it crossed the production milestone of 75 lakh vehicles—the company has exported 25 lakh vehicles over its 20-year journey in India.

In October 2017, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the country’s second-largest car manufacturer, crossed two milestones. One, it achieved cumulative domestic sales of 50 lakh vehicles. Two, it crossed the production milestone of 75 lakh vehicles—the company has exported 25 lakh vehicles over its 20-year journey in India. HMIL, which started operations in 1997 is, cumulatively, India’s largest passenger car exporter. Rakesh Srivastava, Director, Sales & Marketing, HMIL, said that, while achieving the 50-lakh sales milestone, “in the months of September and October, we also clocked ‘retail sales’ of 50,000 cars each month.” After a blockbuster September, there was a slight dip in overall passenger vehicle sales growth numbers in October, possibly due to high pre-stocking for Diwali which fell in the middle of the month, “yet Hyundai’s sales grew on the strength of a strong product portfolio,” Srivastava added.

Three of its cars—hatchbacks Grand i10 and Elite i20, and SUV Creta—each have been selling about 10,000 units per month for quite some time. “Since their launch, these three cars have collectively sold 12.5 lakh units in India,” Srivastava said. He added that a lot of credit towards the recent increase in company’s domestic sales goes to the new-generation Verna, the upper midsize sedan launched in August 2017. The Verna took a tax hit after GST. Because it is powered by 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines and not 1.5-litre, it falls in the ‘luxury cars’ bracket, attracting 3% extra cess, unlike some of its competitors which fall in the ‘midsize cars’ bracket.

“Yet the Verna is selling well. It has crossed 20,000 bookings since launch, and has seen 1.5 lakh inquiries. It shows that customer interest towards premium brands is high,” Srivastava said. “According to our data, 90% of Verna customers appreciate its unique features such as smart infotainment system, electric sunroof, hands-free boot opening and ventilated seats. While the Verna does face a challenge as far as pricing vis-a-vis the competition is concerned, the customer, especially at the price level of above Rs 10 lakh, is discerning. She knows what she wants and is willing to pay for the features that the competition doesn’t provide.”

Will the Verna continue its initial sales success once the novelty factors wears off?

Srivastava argued it will. “The Verna is designed to be a market leader. The earlier generation Verna was also a leader in its segment from 2011-13, before it underwent product fatigue. We believe the new Verna will continue its success run for a long time.” The top two variants, SX and SX+, contribute more than 90% of the overall Verna sales, and 25% of the car’s sales come from automatic transmission. “It confirms the fact that the Verna customer in particular is unique and appreciates ease of driving,” Srivastava said. As far as diesel to petrol sales ratio is concerned, it’s 60:40 (diesel:petrol) for the Verna. “As you go above the Rs 10 lakh price point, there’s an increasing preference towards diesel fuel.”

After having achieved 50,000 unit retail sales for two months in a row, the company has set an even more ambitious target. “I believe we would break the 50,000-unit sales target again in the month of December, with our year-end sales,” Srivastava said.
“In the four-month period of September-December 2017, we expect to clock total retail sales of over 2 lakh vehicles.”

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