‘Exter will strengthen Hyundai's sub-Rs 10 lakh segment': COO Tarun Garg

    With the Exter, 60 percent of Hyundai’s 10-model portfolio in India is now SUVs.

    Published On Jul 12, 2023 12:50:00 PM

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    The Exter is Hyundai's first all-new product in the sub-Rs 10 lakh segment in quite some time. It’s directly targeted at the Tata Punch, which is the third bestseller in the sub-4m SUV segment after the Nexon and the Maruti Brezza, and Hyundai is banking hard on it to strengthen its sub-Rs 10 lakh segment, which is the core of the market.

    Speaking to our sister publication Autocar Professional, Hyundai Motor India's chief operating officer Tarun Garg said, “Our model mix is becoming very broad with almost 50 percent of our portfolio comprising cars priced at over Rs 10 lakh. The Exter will strengthen our sub-Rs 10 lakh price range as well."

    Hyundai’s target with the Exter

    With the Exter, Hyundai is aiming for a bigger portion of India’s compact SUV market, which in April-May 2023, at 1,85,020 units, comprised 51 percent of total UV sales. Rival Tata Punch has sold over 2,00,000 units since its launch barely 20 months ago, and continues to sell around 10,000 units on an average every  month. Hyundai believes that the Exter could double the overall entry-level segment volumes over the next 18 months.

    With the Exter, 60 percent of Hyundai’s 10-model portfolio in India is now SUVs, and the carmaker is optimistic about its ability to cater to the burgeoning demand for SUVs. "This puts us in an extremely strong position to cater to the addressable market, which is tilted towards SUVs that comprised 46 percent of the total PV sales in India in FY2023," said Garg. “While I do not know what volumes we will hit with the Exter, I am confident that it will add a lot of new customers in the entry-level SUV segment. It will appeal to a wide range of not only existing SUV buyers but a large set of hatchback customers as well.”

    Domestic sales over exports

    Hyundai used to be India’s number one passenger vehicle exporter until FY2021 before losing its position to Maruti Suzuki, who has held on to the title for two years in a row and has had a strong lead in the first three months of FY2024.

    For Hyundai, the limited capacity at its sole plant in Sriperumbudur is a key reason why it continues to prioritise supplies to the local market. “The domestic market is a clear priority for us. Now that we have extra capacity with the expansion to up to 8,50,000 units giving us more room, it is a balance between making sure that our domestic obligations are met. Having said that, the exports of made-in-India products are equally important to get foreign exchange,” explained Garg.

    “We have taken ‘Make-in-India’ very seriously, and our mega-Rs 20,000 crore investment in a local battery plant in Tamil Nadu is a testament to that,” Garg stated. With capacity at its sole Chennai plant being stretched to its limits, the company is now gearing up for future growth by eyeing a new plant. In March this year, Hyundai signed a binding term sheet to acquire General Motors’ vacant plant in Talegaon, Pune.

    Also See:

    Exter ‘will have a good NCAP rating’: Hyundai COO Tarun Garg

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