Hyundai Motor to unveil first electric vehicle in India in 2019

‘Manufacturing likely from Chennai plant if trial successful’

Updated - January 31, 2018 05:54 pm IST

Published - January 30, 2018 09:41 pm IST - NEW DELHI

South Korean auto maker Hyundai, which has set a roadmap to introduce nine models in India over the next three years, will be driving in its first electric vehicle (EV) in the country in 2019. The company will also roll out a small car before Diwali this year and a compact SUV in 2019.

“Of the nine models, two will be face-lifts, two new segment products – the AH 2 (internal name) and a sub-4 metre SUV, an electric vehicle (EV). The rest will be full model change,” Y.K Koo, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India, told The Hindu .

He added that there was a global trend where every one was talking about eco-friendly mobility, including EVs and hybrid, but since the Indian government was focused on EVs, the company would be unveiling its electric vehicle brand Ioniq at the upcoming Auto Expo.

“In 2019, we will start EVs as completely knocked down (CKD) units to test the market. We will study the market response, pricing and customer behaviour. If everything is ready, we may consider manufacturing them from our Chennai plant,” Mr. Koo said. He added that the company was waiting for a “clear picture and roadmap” from the government on the EVs, that the company “can follow and develop more EV products for India.”

The company, which will be investing ₹5,500 crore to fund the product pipeline, will also be debuting its AMT (automated manual transmission) technology this year.

“We will bring in new powertrain also – AMT engine. The AH 2 will come in CNG and AMT engine and will be launched before Diwali this year. The concept is contemporary family oriented car. While some people are calling it the new Santro, we have still not finalised the name for the AH 2,” he said.

Capacity ramp up

The company plans to increase capacity to about 7.63 lakh units by 2019 to support the new product additions.

“Our capacity is about 7 lakh units. We can increase it by 13,000 more this year. By 2019, we want to add capacity for another 50,000 units.” Hyundai had produced over 6.78 lakh units in 2017.

He added that the company would also have more flexible production for domestic market and export. He pointed out that some of its exports markets such as Vietnam, Phillipines and Algeria were stopping imports of Completely Built Up (CBU) cars and want to move to CKD cars. “So, then we have more space for production in domestic market. Of course, we will look to develop market for exports,” he said.

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