South Korean car maker Hyundai Motor India will be introducing a sub-four-metre sports utility vehicle (SUV) for aspirational Indian customers, with the aim of doubling sales in this fast expanding segment.
Speaking to Business Today on the sidelines of the launch of its global SUV - the all-new Tucson - Y.K. Koo, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd., said, "We are aiming to take our SUV contribution to around 30 per cent of our India sales in the long term (from the current 12-14 per cent) with the launch of a new compact model scheduled in 2018/19. We will be bringing an all new small SUV to complement the three existing models in the segment, which will be a high-volume product like the Creta."
Hyundai's third SUV, the all new Tucson, was launched on November 14, at a starting price of Rs 18,99,000, going upto Rs 24,99,000, in both petrol and diesel variants. The Rs 9-lakh Creta comes at the entry level, while the Santa Fe is at the top end of the SUV range, starting at Rs 28 lakh.
Prominent companies like Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars, and Toyota Kirloskar Motors are consolidating their SUV line-ups for aspirational Indian customers, making it the fastest growing segment in the Indian market. Sales of SUVs along with utility vehicles has surged 37 per cent (444,048 vehicles) in the first seven months of the fiscal.
About half a dozen new SUVs or tall-boy vehicles are expected to hit the market in 2017. "The aspiration of owning an SUV is a global phenomenon. Like the new Tucson with over 4.5 million units sold globally is a game changer model for us," Koo added. After a 16 per cent growth in 2015, the company aims to sell over five million units in 2016.
India is the third largest market for Hyundai globally, after home market Korea and China. It has added a petrol mill to the third generation of its modern and stylish Tucson, to reap benefits from customers' shift towards the conventional fuel. It has a 2-litre dual VTVT petrol engine in the Tucson, delivering 155ps of power @6,200 rpm.
And the 2-litre R e-VGT engine is the newest member of Hyundai's diesel family, discharging a higher 185ps@4,000. Diesel for the manual variant is more fuel efficient with 18.42 kmpl to the 13.03 kmpl of the 6-speed gear box.
Hyundai's signature Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy that renders a contemporary distinctive look to the new Tucson will position it as an aggressive competitor to the likes of Honda CR-V, Mahindra Rexton, Renault Koleos, and Skoda Yeti.