“I don’t think we com­pete with Kia”

In con­ver­sa­tion with Seon Seob Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Mo­tor In­dia on the year ahead


Com­pact seg­ments and mass mar­ket cars is our fo­cus

In the past two decades, we launched a few pre­mium seg­ment cars in this mar­ket. In terms of sales per­for­mance it wasn't that suc­cess­ful. We're fo­cus­ing more on com­pact seg­ment and mass mar­ket seg­ments. But In­dian econ­omy is grow­ing fast and right now we're study­ing the fea­si­bil­ity for in­tro­duc­tion of lux­ury cars. We see some growth po­ten­tial. We will put more fo­cus on pre­mium cars like Tus­con and Elantra in the fu­ture. This is our fu­ture strat­egy.

Hyundai and Kia com­pete in many mar­kets

Hyundai-Kia be­long to the same busi­ness group. But the op­er­a­tion is 100 per cent in­de­pen­dent. We are com­pet­ing against each other in many mar­kets. In In­dia, there's a huge growth po­ten­tial in the SUV seg­ment. So, I don't think we com­pete with Kia. The seg­ment is grow­ing and each brand's cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and tar­get au­di­ence is dif­fer­ent and in­de­pen­dent.

Up­shift trend in the In­dian mar­ket

We are wit­ness­ing some up­shift trend in the In­dian mar­ket. There are still some en­try level car seg­ment cus­tomers here, but at the same time, there's huge de­mand and growth po­ten­tial for higher seg­ments like com­pact SUVs and sedans. As an OEM we fo­cus on what's in de­mand.

Pre­pared for the elec­tric fu­ture

The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia strongly sup­ports elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles. I think we are very pre­pared. But in­fra­struc­ture and pric­ing sus­cep­ti­bil­ity in minds of cus­tomers is a prob­lem. Those two is­sues will be very challengin­g. Not only for us but all the OEMs. We are try­ing to come up with some so­lu­tions in this mat­ter and are also try­ing to de­liver the mes­sage to In­dian gov­ern­ment in terms of in­fra­struc­ture ex­pan­sion and also sub­si­dies.

Fu­ture of own­er­ship

Own­ing a car is a sym­bol of so­cial sta­tus in In­dia. I think that many peo­ple pur­chas­ing and own­ing a car will be a con­tin­u­ous and lon­glast­ing trend in In­dia. The prac­ti­cal peo­ple and young gen­er­a­tion are us­ing and trust­ing shared mo­bil­ity ser­vices in­stead of own­ing a car. So there's co-ex­is­tence of those two aspects.



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