South Korean automobile giants Hyundai have revealed plans to launch an electric vehicle in India next year in a bid to gauge the effectiveness of the country’s electric vehicle market.
The company, which currently operates in India through a wholly-owned subsidiary, plans to bring the EV as a completely knocked down (assembled in India) unit. The car that company is planning on introducing next year will be the Hyundai Kona electric. Based on the effectiveness of the Indian EV market and relative success of the Kona with an expected base model price of ₹ 20 lakhs, the company will further invest in the local manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO YK Koo said in a press event, “We will launch an electric SUV in the second half of 2019. We will import it as a completely knocked down unit.” He further added, “In the long term the company will produce EV models from its Chennai plant.” He then explained how the company’s strategy for electric vehicles has been planned to align with the government’s vision of making India an EV market by 2020.
Celebrating its 20 year anniversary the company plans to introduce 8 new vehicles in the market by 2020 to mark a new era in the company’s history. “Out of eight, two are new segment products, one electric SUV and other five full model changes to replace current vehicles,” Koo said.
The company sold an estimated 5.27 lakh units in the domestic market last year and expects an 8-10 percent growth in sales this year. As expected the company has already witnessed a growth in sales in the first half of 2018. Having already sold 2.75 lakh units, an 8.2 percent growth over the same period last year. Koo said, “Hyundai aims to roll out 7 lakh units this year from its Chennai plant while next year it plans to enhance the production capacity to 7.5 lakh units per annum.”
“This capacity would be enough for us till 2020. Some of the export markets are showing a decline. So we can use that extra capacity for the domestic market,” Koo added. The company aims to achieve a cumulative production milestone of 10 million cars by the first quarter of 2021, of which Koo believes the company already has the existing facility to meet the demands till 2020.
Hyundai Motor India has also initiated an industry first initiative for which it recently signed a MoU with Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) to “conduct training and create jobs for unskilled manpower above 18 years of age and having a qualification of 8th grade and above.” Under this MoU, the training programme will be conducted at six Hyundai dealerships associated with Hyundai’s Technical Training Academy (HTTA) across India. After successful completion, students will be offered an opportunity to work in Hyundai workshops for after-sales jobs such as service support technician and washer.