economic times-In a bid to recoup lost market share, South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor will be launching an all-new compact car in India to take on MarutiBSE 0.64 % Suzuki’s Ritz and Swift, and boost its presence in the small car space.
Codenamed BA, the new small car will come in its highly accepted fluidic design language and will be positioned between i10 and i20, as against notion that it will replace i10.
Four people close to the development told ET that the new car will co-exist with i10 in India and will be powered by a 1.1-litre diesel engine and 1.2-litre petrol engine.
The project has been developed out of South Korea and over 100 Indian engineers have visited the R&D centre to work on this project. The car is currently undergoing testing in South Korea and is likely to hit the market just ahead of the festive season this year. The new small car is expected to have peak annual volumes of 1.5 lakh units within two years.
Rakesh Srivastava, VP- sales & marketing, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, said, “As part of our corporate policy, we do not comment on speculation on future products.”
With this new car, Hyundai will expand the portfolio of small cars to five — Eon, Santro, i10, BA (code name) and i20 — while it has already expanded its sedan portfolio from Verna to Elantra to Sonata in both petrol and diesel versions.
Hyundai to drive in new compact car to take on Maruti Suzuki’s Ritz, Swift
“The new small car diesel and i20 are likely to form a potent combination to counter the Maruti Swift and Ritz. And, there is a strong possibility for a sub-4 metre notchback to take on Dzire, but no clarity has emerged,” said one of the four people ET spoke to.
Pradeep Saxena, executive director at market research firm TNS Automotive, says data suggests Hyundai today is seen in line with other international players like Honda and Toyota, but its current positioning is not that distinctive.
“The launch of a small car will strengthen Hyundai’s portfolio at the entry level and it will have an offering to compete with Swift Diesel, but they will have to create a distinctive positioning, be it in terms of price or styling, to make it a success. The model will bring in the additional volumes, but it could also cannibalise its own models like i10 and i20,” opined Saxena.
In a recent interaction with the media, Bo Shin Seo, MD, Hyundai Motor India, declined to share any details on the compact small diesel car, but said, “In the small car space, the mileage between petrol and a diesel car is not too different, and diesel car is more expensive, so it will be a challenge.”
Even as its overall market share has declined in the passenger vehicle space to 14% due to the absence of a mass market utility vehicle and a compact sedan, the company asserts its market share in the passenger car space has increased.