Hyundai to drive in electric SUV in India next year

By: | Published: July 28, 2018 1:04 AM

Had showcased EV models Ioniq and Kona during the Auto Expo earlier this year.

hyndai, hyndai motorsHMIL, besides the EV, will also launch seven new products, including a new small compact car before Diwali this year

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said it will launch an electric SUV by H2 2019 under the CKD format. The company hinted that it may look out for collaboration with like-minded partners, as the cost in developing an EV in India will be high and hence collaboration.

HMIL, besides the EV, will also launch seven new products, including a new small compact car before Diwali this year (codenamed AH2) and a compact SUV early 2019 (codenamed QX1) and five upgrades/ facelifts of existing models over the next three years. Anticipating a surge in sales, it has also embarked on expanding the production capacity to little over 7,00,000 units per annum in 2018, and will further it to 7,50,000 units by 2019—sans any investment, by sheer value engineering.

At the plant site in Sriperumbudur near Chennai, YK Koo, MD & CEO, said: “In line with the Indian government’s vision on EVs, we have decided to introduce EVs in India. As part of the EV strategy, the company will launch an EV SUV by second half of 2019 under the completely knocked down (CKD) format. Based on the response for the product and as well on the progress on EV infrastructure in India, we will launch a slew of models going forward.” While ruling out getting into hybrid models, Koo said: “We are holding talks with our parent in Korea on selling the EV with charging kit, battery tech, among other things. We will finalise the same in due course of time.”

On whether the company will tie-up with its Korean subsidiary, Kia Motors, for EV vertical in India, Koo said: “We are open to collaborations, including Kia Motors, as the cost will be high when developing independently. We will forge a tie-up with right kind of partners as EV requires lot of components, including batteries, charging parts, etc.”
“In the long term, we want to make EVs in India from our Chennai plant. However, a lot depends on the government’s policy, tax structures as well infra development,” Koo said. HMIL had showcased early this year its two EV models — Ioniq and Kona SUV.

On future expansion, beyond 7.5 lakh units per annum capacity, Koo said: “Given the import tariff benefits, markets such as Vietnam, South America, Africa, Algeria and the Phillippines have decided to import cars under the CKD format against CBUs now. By exporting under CKD, HMIL gets an additional production capacity of minimum of 50,000 units by 2019 which would become sufficient for us to take care of both domestic and exports, at least till 2020.” Some of our export markets are also slowing down due to various reasons, hence we have enough capacity till 2020, he further said.

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