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Terracan to hit the road soon

New Delhi, Feb. 2: Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motors, will soon launch Terracan, a seven-seater sports-utility vehicle (SUV).

Sources said it also has plans to launch Getz — a 1100-1500 cc compact car in the middle of the calendar year.

“Currently, the company is conducting a market research on Getz. The car will be introduced in three variants and would be priced at Rs 4.5 lakh,” the official said. Based on the reports the company will decide whether to import the vehicles as completely built units or set up a separate assembly line production.

Hyundai derives most of its profit from the sale of Santro, another small car which has proved to be a run-away success. It has sold 65,737 units for the first nine months (April-December) of the current fiscal.

A Hyundai Motor India official told The Telegraph the company would launch Terracan “within the next couple of months” priced between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 22 lakh.

The official said Hyundai’s expansion plans would include compact-sized cars, luxury vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles.

Besides Getz, Caren (a multipurpose-utility vehicle) and Elantra in the higher price segment, are also being considered.

The 2.9-litre diesel Terracan will have the Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDI) fuel system.

“This means the Terracan will have the performance of a petroleum engine while retaining the fuel economy of the diesel engine,” the official said.

The official explained, “If the sales figures projected are around 500 units a month then we will set up a separate assembly line production.”

These models would hold the key to the Korean automaker’s drive to boost profits and expand its market share as the climate for sales has become tough due to Maruti Udyog Limited, the country’s largest automaker. Maruti has fuelled a relentless price war by offering aggressive discounts.

Hyundai, in which US-German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG holds 10 per cent share, had said earlier that its Indian subsidiary would invest $ 350 million as part of its expansion plans to produce sports-utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles from this year onwards.

HMIL has sold around 75,046 units in the April-December period of fiscal 2002-03 against Maruti’s 96,106 units, accounting for the country’s second largest market share.

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