“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.
“WE WILL PUT MORE FOCUS ON CARS LIKE TUCSON AND ELANTRA”