Looking to beat slowdown blues, Hyundai Motor India on Tuesday launched its new compact car 'Grand i10' priced between Rs 4.29 lakh and Rs 6.41 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).
The company, which is the largest car exporter from the country, is also looking to cash in on the rupee depreciation and has set a target of over 8 per cent growth in exports this year. It will also launch 1-2 new models every year in the domestic market in the next 3-4 years.
"The Indian automobile market is going through a slowdown right now, but it is a temporary phase. India has got potential in the long run...we will continue to being new products and technology and we hope that the Grand i10 will bring excitement to the market," Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Managing Director & CEO B S Seo told reporters here.
The Grand i10 comes in two engine variants -- 1.1 litre diesel and 1.2 litre petrol. While the petrol variant is priced between Rs 4.29 lakh and Rs 5.47 lakh, the diesel version is priced between Rs 5.23 lakh and Rs 6.41 lakh (ex Showroom Delhi).
With the launch of the Grand i10, HMIL has discontinued a variant of the existing i10 which is powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine to avoid cannibalisation.
"The 'Grand' is a world class product developed for the Indian market...We expect 'Grand' with its excellent value proposition and its unique features, will serve wide range of customers in India," Seo added.
With the new 'Grand i10', the company is stepping up competition to market leader Maruti Suzuki India. The new Hyundai car would compete with the likes of Maruti Swift and Ford Figo, among others.
'Grand i10', that will be positioned between i20 and i10, has been modified by the Indian engineers to suit local market by incorporating features such as the rear AC vents and new rear window design, among others.
Commenting on the sales forecast for 2013, HMIL Senior Vice President and Division head (Marketing & Sales) Rakesh Srivastava said the company is looking improve on last year's numbers.
"Industry has been on a decline for the last nine months and we would like to hold on to our volumes. This year we are targeting a total of about 6.5 lakh units as compared to 6.35 lakh units last year," he added.
HMIL had reported a marginal increase in domestic sales at 28,311 units in August this year from 28,257 units in August 2012.
On the export front, he said: "The rupee depreciation has been a sort of beneficial for us. This year we are looking a total export of 2.6 lakh units compared to 2.4 lakh units last year," Srivastava said.
HMIL is focusing on non-European markets like South Africa, Latin America and South East Asian countries to boost exports, Srivastava said.
On the future product launches, he said: "In the next three to four years the company will launch 1-2 brand new products every year."
The compact sedan, compact SUV and MPV are segments which the company is interested, he added.
"The compact sedan segment has become big and growing, we are closely looking at that segment. Compact segment is also growing and that also interests us," he said.
Including the Grand i10, the company plans to launch up to four new models in the next two years, including a compact sedan, compact SUV and a multi-purpose vehicle.
When asked if the company would consider a price hike due to rupee depreciation, he said: "Our margins and volumes are under pressure. We are closely watching the situation."