Hyundai India’s MD cum CEO Yung Kee Koo is all smiles. It was a day filled with joy for Koo and his 8,306 employees in India. The sprawling car manufacturing factory at Sriperumbudur on the outskirts of Chennai is buzzing with activities. Celebrating 20 years of success, Koo and his team are enthused by the robust response to every product introduced by the Korean giant in the Indian market.
Beginning with just 20 cars in 1999, the Indian arm of the Korean car giant has exported over 23 lah cars till March 31, 2016. The company that launched the Santro almost twenty years ago is now the most successful automotive brands, planning to launch the compact SUV soon.
With India being the third largest market for the Korean giant, Hyundai plans for increasing its production in phases in the next couple of years. The company, which currently has a capacity of manufacturing over 6 lakh units, is planning to hike it to 7.2 lakh units.
With a growth of eight per cent compared to the four per cent market growth rate, Hyundai is looking forward to maintaining the momentum when it comes to growth. Talking to The Week, Koo shares the success stories of Creta, the Tuscson and the company’s plans for the next two decades. Excerpts:
Is Hyundai planning to increase production? How are you going to bump up your production in the next two years?
To become the market leader, we want to introduce new products every year, from this year. At this year-end, it is Tuscson. It is a more premier SUV next to Creta. So next year, it will be two new products. Sorry, I cannot tell you which product is coming in. As I told you, we are putting in hybrid premier products. And next to next year, we are bringing in AMT engine and next to next to next year we are bringing in the soft format SUV called Sub-4 metre SUV. This is our product line up for the next few years. Right now we have ten models.
After the grand success of Creta how do you think you can bridge the gap between Creta and your Flagship model Santa Fe?
Santa Fe is the most premium brand priced at Rs 30 lakh. And Creta is priced at Rs 10 lakh. So the difference is huge. But here we have the Tuscon. Then we have a stronger product for the SUV segment lined up. And then later, we will bring in the AMT model so that we can cater steadily to the SUV market.
What do you have to say about the Indian market?
I think the Indian market is growing. It is a faster growing market than any other country. It is growing by six to seven per cent. India is a very competitive market for Hyundai globally. It is the largest market next to China and USA.
Last year we had 6.8 lakh units sold, including export. We made 16 per cent growth while the market has grown by eight per cent. In 2016 in the first four month, we sold 1.62 lakh units. In this period while the market has grown by four per cent we grew by eight per cent. See we are in a better position than the auto industry growth.
What is the expected investment in every new model that you are going to launch in the next few years?
We will be investing 500 million USD for the new products.
During the auto expo, you unveiled your concept of a Sub-4 metre SUV? Is the feasibility study underway and are you working with your R and D?
Based on this concept Sub 4 metre, the feasibility study is already begun in Korea and we will introduce the concept sub 4 metre model in 2018 0r 2019.
Tell me more about your focus on the SUV market
The SUV market is growing. Earlier the contribution for SUV market was only 8 to 10 per cent. Now, after we have launched Creta, the market is growing by 16 per cent. After we have launched Creta with great success we see an enormous growth in the SUV market.