Hyundai eyes India’s premium SUV market

Hyundai eyes India’s premium SUV market

Korean automaker Hyundai Motor, the leader in India’s fast-growing SUV segment, is looking at strengthening its presence at the premium end of the market to consolidate its position.

Hyundai Motor India, the local subsidiary, is set to launch its flagship model, the all-new Tucson SUV, next month. Tarun Garg, its director for marketing, sales and service, said the company currently has a base of 1.2 million customers of the Creta SUV and midsize sedan Verna. It expects many of these customers to upgrade and stick to the Hyundai brand.

There is a huge potential to grow volumes in the premium SUV segment, he said. The share of vehicles priced upwards of Rs 15 lakh has grown more than sevenfold for Hyundai to 15% of overall sales in fiscal 2022 from around 2% in FY18. “There are many customers within our brand who want to upgrade, and the fourth-generation Tucson will provide a compelling proposition,” Garg said.

More than two-thirds of the sales of the previous, third-generation, Tucson had come from customers who upgraded vehicles within the Hyundai brand.

About 40,000 premium SUVs are sold in the Indian market a year. The industry expects this to increase to 55,000 units by 2024. Overall, sales in the premium SUV segment are expected to grow 25% compounded annually between 2022 and 2025.

The Tucson will be sold exclusively through the company’s ‘Signature’ outlets, which also house the i20 N Line range and top of the line Alcazar. Hyundai has set up 246 signature outlets across 125 cities in the country over the past two years.

The new Tucson is RDE (real driving emission) compliant. The vehicle will come with both petrol and diesel engine options. Globally, Hyundai has sold 7 million units of the Tucson since its launch.

Hyundai sold about 250,000 SUVs in India in the year ended March 31, 2022 to retain the segment leadership with a share of 22%. However, Hyundai Motor India and

have been neck-to-neck in monthly volumes in the SUV segment the past few months, on the back of a rise in the sales of the Tata Punch. Tata Motors sold 205,000 SUVs for a share of 18% in FY22. Mahindra & Mahindra had a 14% share (excluding the Bolero).

— with its sole SUV model Brezza — had a share of about 12%.

Given the traction in the market, Garg expects the share of SUVs in the local market to increase in the months ahead. The demand outlook in the passenger vehicle segment remains “healthy”, and with the supply situation improving, retail sales should increase in the upcoming festive season, he said.

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