Thursday, December 15, 2011
By Pranjal Gera
Hyundai Santa Fe and Sonata to be manufactured locally
Korean carmaker Hyundai Motors is now concentrating on the premium segment of the Indian auto market as it intends to produce its luxury sedan Hyundai Sonata and premium Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) Hyundai Santa Fe locally. The second largest passenger carmaker will be seen manufacturing these high-end vehicles at its Sriperumbudur based plant in Tamil Nadu. In order to avoid the import duties on both of its vehicles, Hyundai Motors had commenced the manufacturing of Santa Fe in the month of August this year and will now be joined by sedan Sonata.
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The crossover Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Sonata were previously either imported as Completely Built Units (CBUs) or as Completely Knock-Down (CKD) kits and both were charged with import duties in India. With the absolute localization of these models; which won’t be attracting any import duties from now on, Hyundai Motors is sure to create a kind of flurry in the premium segment of the country. The same it did when it launched its first hatchback Hyundai Santro Xing in the country as that was also an outcome of localization.
The company can now price its premium products aggressively in order to contend with the likes of Toyota Motors, Honda Motors and Volkswagen along with Skoda that currently rule the premium segment.
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Mr. Arvind Saxena, the Director for Marketing and Sales at Hyundai Motors in India said that the production of Santa Fe SUV began from August 2011, and the factory at Sriperumbudur rolls out nearly 225 to 250 units per month. The company aims to look forward in order to increase the localization of its premium products in future, Mr. Saxena added.
Apart from the premium lineup, Hyundai Motors majorly focuses on the sales of its other vehicles that include hatchbacks Hyundai i10, Hyundai i20, Hyundai Santro Xing and newly launched small car Hyundai Eon along with mid size sedan Hyundai Verna Fluidic and Hyundai Accent.