Korean carmaker sees potential for an SUV under the upcoming Carlino-based sub-4m model, but final decision yet to be taken.
Hyundai is evaluating a micro SUV for India, Y.K. Koo, managing director and CEO, Hyundai Motor India has disclosed to Autocar India. The model in question will be positioned under Hyundai’s upcoming Carlino concept-based sub-4m SUV (code: QXI).
"Maybe later, we can introduce a micro SUV that is smaller than the QXI. This would enable us to have a strong SUV line-up comprising of the micro SUV, the sub-4 metre QXI and the Creta and then maybe the Tucson," Koo told Autocar India in an interview.
Hyundai is conducting surveys and studies to ascertain the possible market for the micro SUV, which is not part of its plan to launch eight new products in India by 2020. The new model is said to be a good three-four years away from production, subject to the project getting a green light. Also, a mass volume product like an affordable micro SUV will require additional production capacity as the current plant is running beyond its installed capacity of 700,000 units a year on a three-shift basis. Additional capacity is unlikely to be added before 2020.
Sources at Hyundai hint the carmaker's decision to go ahead with the micro SUV could be based on the response to Maruti Suzuki's own micro SUV - the production version of the Future-S Concept from Auto Expo 2018. Currently under development, this new body style from Maruti (codename: Y1K) will launch in 2020. Rivals for the potential micro SUV from Hyundai will also include the Renault Kwid that can be credited with pioneering the SUV-inspired look in the small car space.
Hyundai has met with tremendous success in the mass market SUV space, with the Creta consistently being a top 10 seller in India right from launch in 2015. A well-received micro SUV could just enhance sales exponentially.
For now, Hyundai has its hands full as it gears up to launch its new small car this festive season.