Even as the controversy surrounding land necessary for Tata Motors’ Nano venture reaches a crescendo, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) has clarified that it will not buy additional land for its proposed 800cc car project.
Speaking to The Times of India, HMIL managing director & CEO H S Lheem said the company has enough space at its existing 535-acre Chennai unit for the venture. “We will launch a A segment car specifically for India within 2-3 years. This will be rolled out from our existing location.”HMIL has two plants near Chennai. The Korean auto giant set up the second plant in 2007 taking the total production capacity to 6 lakh cars per year. The plant would be the third factory in the same location.
Lheem said Hyundai’s B segment models like Santro and i10 are now being only manufactured in this country. “India is the only sourcing base for these cars now.”
The company will roll out the 800 cc car in the next three to four years, he said. The model, which would be smaller than Santro and compete in the 800 cc segment, is being researched and developed jointly by Indian and Korean engineer teams at Hyderabad and Namyang.
Presently, only Maruti Suzuki has a new model in the 800 cc segment. The car would be both for the domestic and export markets, he said.
The company would showcase its next model i20 at the Paris Motor Show next month. HMIL has exported 42% of its production in India in the first half of 2008. This is likely to go up to 55% in the second half. It has already achieved the distinction of exporting four lakh cars from India. HMIL exports to 90 countries.
“Domestic demand is bit sluggish now. So, we will lay more emphasis on exports.” Hyundai has 22% domestic market share.