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Hyundai steps on gas to meet target

Calcutta, Feb.11: Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea, will expand its existing production line at the Chennai factory to meet the export target of 25,000 cars in the current financial year.

The move is part of the parent’s decision to make India the global export hub for Santro. Hyundai has also decided to stop producing Santro cars in Korea from the current fiscal.

Senior officials of HMIL said that the company has decided to tap the western European markets with the Santro this fiscal.

“Out of the enhanced production of 25,000, more than 85 per cent will be Santro cars. Accents will form a very small part,” officials added.

In the last fiscal, the company had exported 8,000 cars mainly to countries like Latin America, Nepal, Bangladesh, Argentina and Morocco. Hyundai has decided to increase the production capacity from 1.10 lakh cars to 1.5 lakh in the current financial year. The company is also extending shift timings at its factory to meet the increased production target. The officials of the company said that despite an extended plant closure in January on account of Sankranti, the company clocked an all-time high in January sales.

Sales of flagship Santro witnessed an 18 per cent growth to 8,579 units while domestic sales went up by 5 per cent to 10,078 units. Accent sales dipped following lower production, leading to a two to three week waiting period on the Viva and CRDi variants.

Commenting on the sales, B. G. Lee, executive director (marketing), HMIL said, “The spiralling demand, riding on top of a surge in December-2002 sales, clearly indicates a perceptible shift in consumer preference for Hyundai products. We are working to step up our production to meet this increased demand.”

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