Buoyed by the success of the Jeep Compass, the only locally manufactured C-SUV in India, Hyundai has some big plans for the next-gen Tucson.
Currently, the Tucson sells in bare-minimum three-digit volume, as it’s an import. Even though locally assembled, an entry-price of over INR 18 lakh (ex-showroom) isn’t helping its case. Hyundai now feels confident about the segment’s potential, and with the next full model change, it will invest in tools & dies and involve local suppliers to highly localise the C-SUV.
In an interview with Evo India, Y K Koo, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India, was talking about the company’s SUV offensive. “We have a very strong SUV line up. QXi, Creta, Tuscon and later we will have the all-new Tuscon as well which will be put into manufacturing.”
Koo confirmed that there is indeed a plan to offer the next-gen Hyundai Tucson in two and three-row versions. “There will be a seven-seater variant also,” he said. Honda and Volkswagen already use this strategy for their C-SUV (CR-V and Tiguan respectively), while Jeep has confirmed a three-row SUV for India.
Hyundai currently has two manufacturing plants in India. It plans to increase the combined annual production capacity from 7.13 lakh to the optimum level (7.5 lakh units) in 2019. However, the QXi sub-4 metre SUV will likely take up the increased capacity, leaving no room for next-gen Tucson. The company may free up some capacity by pruning exports.
The fourth-gen Hyundai Tucson could go on sale in India in 2021. Before that, the facelifted third-gen model will arrive in the third or fourth quarter of 2019.