Hyundai Motor India has decided to quickly bring in a higher priced sports utility vehicle Tucson in India in the second half of 2016.
The move is seen as a mid-course change in strategy by Hyundai. It was not part of its scheme until October of 2015. Now, encouraged by the response it has received for Creta, the company has decided to fast forward the launch of Tucson. It has not only decided to showcase the vehicle at the Auto Expo but also launch it in India with local manufacturing, which may help the company price it at Rs 18-20 lakh.
Tucson will be positioned between the in-demand Creta SUV and Santa-FE SUV. This vehicle along with Genesis Luxury brand, Sonata Hybrid, N Vision 2025 vehicle and all new 1 & 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine will be showcased at the Expo, which may become a mainstream engine for future cars.
While Maruti Suzuki has decided to keep its pavilion minimalistic, its South Korean rival has decided to showcase its portfolio.
There will be as many as nine different zones, Premium Zone - showcasing its luxury brand Genesis, Sports zone with i20 Active with 2.0 Hyundai's fluidic sculpture 2.0, Eco zone - which will showcase Sonata PHEV, Technology Zone- The Kappa 1.0 GDI, Kappa 1.4 T-GDI, 7 speed dual clutch transmission and 8 speed automatic transmission, Safety zones amongst others.
Rakesh Srivastava, Sr VP, sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor India says Delhi Auto Expo is an appropriate platform to showcase ones capability with lakhs of prospective buyers visiting the arena.
"The Global SUV Hyundai Tucson represents a significant step forward towards future SUV line up for the Indian market. We are excited with the response for Creta, with Tucson and future MPV/SUV, we intend to satiate the desire of Indian buyers," said Srivastava.
With the Creta, Hyundai is already a segment leader in the compact SUV space with the average sales of 7000 to 8000 units a month. Having sold and delivered over 40,000 units, the company is further sitting on over 50,000 bookings.
People in the know of company's plans said, Hyundai Motor India is planning to produce 1.3 lakh units of Creta including overseas markets and the company is targeting about 20,000 to 30,000 units of Tucson.
Gaurav Vangaal, Sr analyst for forecasting at IHS Automotive says that the Indian market is progressively maturing and even small car manufacturers are working on bigger SUV's. The Tucson coming to India this year (if true), indicates the seriousness of Hyundai to take on its competition.
"Launch of Tucson indicates the manufacturers' obsession to be first in the segment. The manufacturing looks difficult in such a short span of time and vehicle can be made available as completely knocked down unit, while completing its validation cycles. CKD production can be supported from Czech Republic or Korea," added Vangaal.
Having grown at 16% in 2015, Hyundai Motor India will be in a consolidation phase for 2016 hoping to sustain the volumes momentum, and build on the premium image through new models like Tucson and an all new Elantra in 2016.