At Hyundai, our aim is to cross 5 lakh sales mark in local market in 2015: Bo Shin Seo, Hyundai Motor India
Hyundai Motor India has embarked on its next chapter of growth as it seeks to take advantage of the Narendra Modi-led government's economic initiatives like the 'Make in India' programme, says Bo Shin Seo, managing director and chief executive officer at the South Korean automaker's Indian subsidiary. Seo says it's been Hyundai's strategy since the beginning to create made in India products that can compete globally. Under Seo's leadership, Hyundai notched 17% share of the Indian car market in 2014, its highest since the company set foot in India 19 years ago. In his first interview to an Indian newspaper, Seo spoke with ET's Chanchal Pal Chauhan about Hyundai's plans, its targets and the future strategy. Edited excerpts:
Hyundai is the only carmaker in India that has production facility only at one location. Any plans to invest in a new plant?
Our total investment in India is in excess of $2.7 billion. Hyundai has strong expansion plans for future to meet customer aspirations and expectations. We have two plants at Chennai with a combined capacity of around 7 lakh that can ideally be taken to a million units in a phased manner. We are constantly evaluating the options with feasibility studies.We would take the decision in the next few months.
Hyundai's unique design quotient has helped it emerge as a significant player in India. How do you plan to take it forward?
Designing of a car is a vital element, as customers look for exterior and interior designs and styling that is unique from other cars in the same segment. Hyundai has evolved the design philosophy starting from Fluidic to Storm edge to 2.0 Fluidic. All our new generation cars — Grand i10, compact sedan Xcent, premium hatchback Elitei20, mid-size sedan Verna and SUV Santa Fe —carry the unique design philosophy. Creta SUV bagged more than 15,000 pre-launch orders.
How will Hyundai take advantage of the growing market in India, which is likely to be among the world's top three by 2020?
Hyundai India is targeting cumulative production of 60 lakh units this year. We expect to grow over 15% in the current year and sell 4.80 lakh units. We have launched four new products this year— 4S Fluidic Verna, Active i20, Elantra 2015 and our most anticipated Creta SUV. Our aspiration is to achieve the 5-lakh sales mark in the domestic market in 2015 and a market share increase of 1% every year. Our ambition is to be the most loved, trusted and caring brand that meets customers' expectations. We would like to retain 40% share of the car exports from the country.
How much of your focus will be on the rural markets?
Rural sales contribute around 20% of our volumes. We are confident of our performance in rural market through a strong network of 320 rural sales outlets and strong products with brand assurance of ease of maintenance with lowest cost of repairs. We are also upgrading our dealerships as per the Global Dealership Space Identity guidelines to offer premium experience to our customers.
How do you intend to take on the increased competition?
We are continuously improving the pricevalue equation by refreshing our existing models. We are working tirelessly to enhance the product quality and customer satisfaction, and are regularly investing in the sales and service network in Tier II and III cities. Hyundai is a modern and premium brand. Exports of our locally-made cars to over 100 countries including South Africa, Vietnam, Australia, Mexcio and Colombia, reflect Hyundai's international quality standards in India.
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