Hyundai Motor India expects its sales to grow in double digits this year as it anticipates demand to remain strong despite various challenges in the market, said a top company official. The automaker remains optimistic about its sales prospects as there is a strong pull for personal mobility amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.
"It is going to be full-fledged operations for us this year (as compared to lockdown and other challenges last year). "There is a strong preference for personal mobility these days owing to the pandemic. So, considering the low base of last year, we may close the year with around 20 per cent growth," Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO S S Kim said.
The company would like to reach pre-COVID-19 levels in terms of sales as soon as possible, he added. Hyundai had sold 5,50,002 units in 2018, 5,10,260 units in 2019 and 4,23,642 units last year in the domestic market. "We want to reach that number as quickly as possible but it will depend on various factors. The uncertainty is high. So, while we want to reach those levels as soon as possible, let us see how things pan out," Kim noted.
He said that as far as customer demand is concerned, it appears to be quite strong at the moment. "And, the good thing is that it is across the products. It is not limited to one product. So, we think demand is there. We just hope that this second wave of the pandemic is controlled and we get back to normalcy," Kim said.
Citing other factors, he said the car penetration remains quite low in the country and there is scope for growth for the auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
"There is a lot of growth potential here and that is the reason so many global OEMs are trying to enter the Indian market. Hyundai also remains committed to this market. "We are bullish about growth of this market and that is why we are introducing and bringing new technologies, and new vehicles and experiences here," Kim said.
On semiconductor shortage, he said the company is maintaining close relationship with suppliers, and adopting flexible manufacturing approach. "This is how we have been able to cater to the demand. Still for some models like Creta, the demand is greater than the production capacity but we are trying to produce more and cut waiting periods," Kim said.
In the case of Creta, the demand keeps growing and currently, the orders are around three times larger than the production capacity. So, every month, the pending bookings are getting accumulated which explain the huge waiting period for the model, he added.
Commenting on the emerging trends in the domestic passenger vehicle segment, Hyundai Motor India Director (Sales and Marketing) Tarun Garg said the demand for premium features like sunroof and connected technologies in vehicles was increasing at a fast clip in the market.
"Demand for such features is across the model range. People are getting aware of the new technologies...in terms of premiumness we can see it coming through. That is clearly reflected in any trend you see these days," he said.
The company, which is known for loading its cars with features to the brim, is all set to drive in a new SUV -- Alcazar later this month. Hyundai led the sports utility vehicle (SUV) space in the country with sales of 1.8 lakh units in 2020. Its current SUV range includes Venue, Creta and Tucson.
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