| Subbu: Smooth drive
Calcutta, May 7: Terracan, the seven-seater sports utility vehicle, will hit Indian roads in July, according to B. V. R. Subbu, president of Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL). The company will also finalise a strategy to produce the Getz here in August this year.
“Once the production strategy is finalised, the car will become available in India within a year’s time,” Subbu told The Telegraph.
Hyundai had sent the proposal to produce Getz in India to its Korean parent Hyundai Motor Company about three months back. “Following this, we carried out a marketing study on Getz. We sent the study to Hyundai Motor Company. Based on the positive outcome of the study, it gave us a go-ahead,” Subbu said.
Getz fits in neatly into the burgeoning Hyundai car range alongside the more conventional Accent. It looks fresh and contemporary in the new small car design with a short sloping nose and a relatively long and tallish cabin, cropped car length and a wheel at each corner — a formula for style with space.
Subbu said Terracan would be available in the price range of Rs 21-23 lakh. Hyundai will be importing Terracan as a CBU (completely-built unit). Initially the company is looking at importing 500 units. “Certain changes have been made in the car to make it compatible on Indian roads,” Subbu added.
The 2.9-litre diesel Terracan will have the common rail direct injection (CRDi) engine.
Hyundai is also considering bringing in Elantra, the sedan. “We are not yet present in this category. We are discussing whether the four-door Elantra or the five-door Elantra will be suitable for the Indian market,” Subbu said.
The company is also planning to increase the production capacity of its Chennai plant.
“We are weighing two options — whether to increase the capacity by 2 lakh or by 2.5 lakh,” he said.
Santro, the most popular Hyundai car in India, will be exported to North America from this fiscal. Hyundai is currently exporting Santros to Latin America. In 2003-04, the company hopes to export 30,000 to 35,000 cars.
“In about three years, the company wants to export around 70,000 Santros. This is in tune with Hyundai’s decision to turn India into an export hub for the Santro,” Subbu said.