Why Hyundai India is unfazed by threat from Tata Motors for No 2 spot

Korean car major is counting on its continuous focus on new product launches and the introduction of new technologies to maintain its leadership in the market

Hyundai India recently discontinued its entry-level hatchback Santro.

South Korean auto major Hyundai is undeterred by the threat to its position as the second-biggest car maker in India, and believes that it will continue to do well in the market as it has done over the last two decades, according to a senior company official. Maruti continues to lead the pack.

The auto major, which has been facing tough competition from Tata Motors for the second spot in the domestic passenger vehicle industry, is counting on its continuous focus on new product launches and the introduction of new technologies to maintain its leadership in the market.

“What I can say is that we are a long-term player and we have no reason to believe that we will not do well,” Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Director-Sales, Marketing, Service Tarun Garg told PTI in an interaction.

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He was replying to a query if the company would be able to hold on to the second spot in the domestic passenger vehicle segment this fiscal.

In the past six months, Tata Motors has surpassed Hyundai twice in terms of dispatches to the dealers.

“We will definitely do well and make efforts to not only get volumes but to offer sustainable offerings to the customer. I think that is very very important, we should not lose focus on our long-term sustainable goals.

“In the past two years, there has not been any let-off in new model launches or on the up-gradation of models, so we have never let the foot off the accelerator and I believe, we will continue to bring in solutions for the customers,” Garg said.

He noted that the company is a long-term player and its efforts and identity could not be limited by one month sales number.

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“We are a long-term player and a month here and a month there doesn’t give the true picture.. reasons could be plant maintenance shutdown…so we have to look at a stable long-term regime…,” he stated.

Technology benchmark

The company has been a very strong player not only in terms of volumes but because the automaker has believed in raising the benchmark in terms of products and new technologies.

“From the time we entered the country with Santro, we have always believed in raising the bar and bringing global technologies to India, whether it was the engines, ventilated seats and features, which were only seen in the high-end cars..it is because we believe that customers deserve such features,” Garg said.

While acknowledging enhanced competition in the market, he noted that the judgement should not be based on sales results of just one or two months.

“Whether calendar or fiscal year we have been doing very good volumes and we have been providing very good solutions to the customers,” the official said.

He noted that the company has already announced the introduction of various new models, including battery electric vehicles, and new versions of existing models in the country.

“So, there is no let-off on any front, whether it is a product, whether it is technology,” Garg stated.

Robust market

On the business outlook, he noted that the demand in the market remained very robust.

“So far, demand continues to be very strong and with the chip supply improving, I think we are cautiously optimistic about the future,” Garg said.

When asked if the company would consider launching an entry-level hatchback, he said: “We have always believed that we need to give whatever the customer wants. So, we are studying customer trends very closely. Our strategies — continuation, discontinuation, introduction (of models) — are all based on the customer trends”.

The company has recently discontinued its entry-level hatchback Santro.

Garg said the automaker would continue to study the market for new product launches.

“If we see that some particular segment has potential, we will introduce the product. We will not launch a brand just to be present in some segment,” he noted.

India is a very big market and the car penetration is still very low, so there would be customers for all the segments, Garg said when asked if the company would also look at introducing sedans.

With agency inputs

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