Hyundai Motor India Ltd., the country’s second largest four wheeler manufacturer, is looking to set-up a new manufacturing facility in the country as part of it’s extensive expansion plans. Even though the company has held the second place position for a long time it has come under threat from the likes Honda and Ford in recent times while the leader Maruti Suzuki already has a bunch of new models in the pipeline.
The company is going to invest heavily in the new Hyundai plant and plans to launch at least two to three new models every year. The planned manufacturing facility will be the company’s second in India the first one being located in Chennai. Hyundai India MD & CEO B S Seo commented on the Chennai facility: “Our existing factory in Chennai still has capacity to keep us going for some time. Currently, it produces 6.8 lakh units annually, and can be stretched to a little over 7 lakh vehicles.” However, the scope for expansion in the existing manufacturing facility is limited with Hyundai having to cut down on exports to Europe to handle doemstic requirements. Also, the factories in Czech republic and Turkey serve the key regions of Europe and if Hyundai is serious about implementing the plan of launching at least two to three new models every year then it will definitely require a new manufacturing facility.
The company is looking at various locations for the new Hyundai plant and Gujarat seems to be the front runner. The state has also been attracting investment from Tata, Ford and Maruti aided by it’s proximity to sea ports no doubt.
Mr. Seo has refused to confirm the setting up of a new Hyundai plant but has stated that, “We are looking at it very closely. We are watching very closely.” He also indicated hat the company has the capacity to construct a factory at a fast pace once a decision is arrived at.
Speaking about new launches, he said the company has plans to drive in at least two to three new cars every year, that may include variants or upgrades. “We have plans to enter segments where we are not present and these include the compact SUV and the MPV categories,” Seo said. The company is expected to invest Rs. 1600 crores annually for the development of new models with the company’s Hyderabad R&D facility being involved in the whole development process.
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