| Aiming high
New Delhi, Aug. 21: Hyundai Motor India Ltd, the countryís second biggest carmaker, has filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to produce and retail models of Kia Motors Corp, its parentís affiliate, in India. okay
The plan to bring in models from the Kia stables would include multipurpose vehicles, pickups and light commercial vehicles.
ďTo begin with Hyundai India has sought FIPBís permission to import Caren, a multipurpose vehicle,Ē the source said.
He said General Motorís introduction of Chevroletís Optra model and Subaruís Forester in the country has re-ignited Hyundaiís effort to launch Kia Motorsí models.
Earlier, the government had rejected Hyundaiís application to import Caren citing regulations which do not permit product retailing of offshore-based affiliates.
Company sources were, however, unwilling to reveal details of the application citing confidentiality terms associated with such applications.
Hyundai, which launched its Indian operations in October 1998, makes the popular Santro Xing hatchback, the Accent and Sonata sedans at its plant on the outskirts of Chennai.
It has a capacity to make 150,000 cars a year. It imports the sports-utility vehicle Terracan as a fully-built unit from South Korea.
The carmaker, which has a nearly 20 per cent share of the countryís passenger-car market, said it would spend Rs 20 crore to expand capacity to 250,000 units by mid-2004 to meet growing domestic and export demand.
Hyundai officials said capacity constraints allowed the car maker to export only 30,000 units although it had orders of 43,000 cars.
Hyundai India plans to export 50,000 engines and transmission units a year from the middle of next year to Hyundai plants in South Korea and other countries.
Officials estimate that domestic sales would surge to 150,000 units in 2003 from 120,000 last year. Its main competitors are Tata Motor Ltd and the domestic units of Japanís Suzuki Motor Corp, Ford Motor and General Motors Corp.
In 2001-02, Hyundai India had clocked a net profit of Rs 270 crore on a turnover of Rs 3,400 crore.