Hyundai eyes new customer segments; Elite i20 launch next week

New Delhi, Aug 3: Korean car major Hyundai is looking to tap new customers in rural areas and corporate segment to increase its market share in the Indian automobile market. The company’s wholly-owned arm Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), which will make the global launch of its all new premium hatchback Elite i20 this month, also plans to introduce a new model each year in the segment where it is not present.

“The idea is to increase volume in the domestic market and increasing our market share is top priority. For that we will be looking to tap new customers segments in the rural market and through corporate sales,” HMIL Senior Vice President (Sales & Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava told PTI. This, he said, is part of the company’s strategy of launching new products, bringing refreshes of existing models and tapping new consumer segments in order to enhance its market share in the domestic market.

In the January-July period of 2014, the company sold 2,35,432 cars in India, translating into a market share of 21.6 per cent, Srivastava said, adding that during the same period last year, the company’s market share was 20.4 per cent. Elaborating on the company’s strategy, he said: “Starting from this year, we have decided to launch one new product each year in the segment in which we are not present. The first product is the Xcent (launched in March) in the compact sedan segment.”

The company also plans to enter the compact SUV segment, which is one of the fastest growing in India, and the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment. Srivastava further said that refreshed products like the ‘Elite i20′, which is built on a completely new platform to replace the existing i20, would further add to the company’s strategy of enhancing volumes.

“The Elite i20 is a very significant product for us. It is being launched globally for the first time in India,” he said, adding that HMIL’s has been the most premium hatchback in India and the new version would further enhance that positioning. HMIL will launch the Elite i20 on August 11 and has already started taking bookings for the car since the beginning of this month. The Elite i20 was designed at Hyundai Motor’s Design Centre Europe in R?sselsheim, Germany.