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Hyundai to bring in hybrids to India

Hyundai plans to introduce its global hybrid brand Ioniq at the 14th Auto Expo in Delhi/NCR in 2018 followed by the mild-hybrids in 2019, the company's managing director & CEO Young Key Koo told Business Today.

South Korean carmaker, Hyundai Motor India will be the third carmaker in India to introduce hybrid and mild-hybrid technologies in its cars between 2018 and 2019.

Hyundai plans to introduce its global hybrid brand Ioniq at the 14th Auto Expo in Delhi/NCR in 2018 followed by the mild-hybrids in 2019, the company's managing director & CEO Young Key Koo told Business Today.

"We have plans to showcase our new Ioniq range of hybrid, plug-in and all electric vehicles to test the Indian market. It will give Indian customers a peek into our technology prowess, as well as prepare us for future alternative technologies," Koo said.

While Toyota and Honda have introduced full hybrid vehicles in India, Maruti and Mahindra & Mahindra are the two companies that have introduced mild-hybrids with reasonable success. Especially, Maruti whose Ciaz mild-hybrid has overtaken the segment leader Honda City this year. In comparison, however, full hybrids from Toyota and Honda cost upwards of Rs 35 lakh and haven't gained as much traction.

Koo added that the company is working on mild-hybrid technology that will be strapped in its current models like the Elantra sedan and other small car brands to utilize the concessional tax regime for such vehicles.

Mild hybrids technology has been used in the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz sedan that abets the petrol or diesel propulsion leading to higher mileage and efficiency. It also regenerates the kinetic energy produced during braking to enhance its motion. The technology has helped Maruti to emerge as the segment leader in the mid-size sedan segment and has propelled its peers to venture into the same bracket.

Globally companies are adopting these new technologies to make vehicles hybrid which are more efficient as they utilizes more than one form of onboard energy for higher propulsion and cover longer distances than petrol-diesel vehicles. Toyota and Honda sells hybrid Camry and Accord in the market.

Hyundai, the second largest carmaker in India has been negotiating with the Indian government to support the hybrid technology with strong incentives to
make the price of such vehicles viable for customers as multiple technologies strapped to these cars make them expensive.

"India is an evolving market where customers are choosing new and expensive vehicles that is rendering a huge opportunity to enter new segment and offer 'out of the box' mobility solutions. Hybrids are globally successful and we are looking at the opportune time to offer this technology to Indian customers," Mr Koo added.

Hyundai currently sells 10 cars in the Indian market ranging from compact EON hatchback to Santa FE SUV that is retailed at Rs 28.56 lakh onwards. In October this year it crossed the 50,000 sales mark in any month in the Indian market.