Hyundai will delay new plant in 2-3 years
NEW DELHI: Korean car manufacturer Hyundai has said it will not build a new factory in India for at least two or three years, as the economic slowdown and poor consumer sentiment have affected sales and depressed future market forecast. The current capacity of the company is sufficient to meet its domestic and export demand, and therefore, plans any important expansion It won't happen immediately, said the CEO and CEO of Hyundai Motor India, S S Kim.
Hyundai India ended 2019 with a 7% decline in domestic sales , while the fall was 3% after including exports. Kim said that he expects sales in 2020 to be “near flat, or single-digit positive”, but generally below the 2018 numbers. “While we always study various scenarios and options for production and sales expansion , I think the right time to restart the study for another expansion will come in two-tothree years, considering the existing market situation,” Kim told TOI here.
The company’s view mirrors a similar stand taken by Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, which is delaying start of production from a third manufacturing line (with 2.5-lakh-annual capacity) in view of the slowdown.
Kim said present market sentiments in India are not very positive. It may take up to three years to achieve the sales level achieved in 2018, when market conditions were still positive.
Kim said the company will continue to maintain an aggressive product launch plan, which begins with the entry of the Aura sedan. Aura will compete with models such as Honda Amaze and Maruti Dzire and will be tied with BS6 engines in gasoline and diesel and is priced between Rs 5.79 lakh and Rs 9.22 lakh (ex-showroom).
Kim said the company plans to bring green vehicles to India and is working on a electric car that will cost less than Rs 10 lakh. The company's current electric vehicle, the Kona mini SUV, costs more than 23 rupee lakh and has received a lukewarm response.