The Hyundai Motor Company Limited is a South Korean multinational automobile firm established in 1967. Within a short period of time, it has become one of the leaders in the car industry. As per the sales figures of 2012, it has become the fifth largest automobile producer in the world along with its subsidiary Kia Motors. The Cortina and the Pony were the first cars produced by this small car specialist. The word Hyundai means modernity and the Koreans are always a step ahead to ensure modernity in their products.
In India, they started their operations in 1996 after setting up their plant near Chennai. The success of the Maruti’s ‘small car idea’ in India prompted Hyundai Motors India Limited to start with the hatchback model Santro. Hyundai Santro, a small petrol car got great acceptance in the Indian market. Their second model Hyundai Getz did not find much favour with the Indians. A new model, Santro Xing was introduced in 2003 with options to run on petrol, LPG and CNG.
Meanwhile, the HMIL has started a research wing in Hyderabad in the year 2007. They launched the i10, a substitute for the Santro in 2007. Hyundai i20 launched in 2010 replaced the Getz. The hatchback segment in the Indian market was completely dominated by the two cars, i10 and i20. The HMIL became the second largest auto exporter in India. An entry level hatchback, the Eon, launched in 2011with an 814 cc engine was upgraded in 2012 to make it more competitive.
The fluidic design introduced by the Koreans has become an instant hit among the Indian car lovers. The Grand i10 launched in 2013, is their entry level diesel model with the fluidic design features. Their CRDi engines for the diesel and the Kappa engines for the petrol versions have shown improved fuel efficiency. The Grand i10 has already won the ‘best car of 2014’ award instituted by ICOTY. The base level prices of the Hyundai hatchbacks vary from Rs 2.97 lakhs for an Eon to Rs 4.81 lakhs for an i20.
In the sedan segment, HMIL is producing the Xcent, the Verna, the Sonata and the Elantra. The Verna launched in 2006, was first upgraded in 2010 to the Verna Transform with new VTVT petrol and CRDi diesel engines. The Sonata is a petrol car introduced in 2012 with auto and manual transmissions for a basic price of around Rs 19 lakhs. The Elantra launched in July 2012 is on the lines of a chauffeur driven car.
The Hyundai sedan Xcent and the SUV Santa Fe launched in early 2014 are the cars to be looked for. By 2015, the Koreans want to establish their supremacy in the Indian car market.