Nalin Kapoor in Calcutta on Monday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury
Calcutta, Sept. 9: A high volume of exports from India has helped Korean car maker Hyundai shield itself from the impact of rupee depreciation.
“We export nearly 40 per cent of the total cars produced in India,” Nalin Kapoor, senior general manager and group head (marketing) of Hyundai Motors, said at the launch of the Grand i10 here today.
In 2012-13, Hyundai exported around 2.5 lakh units to over 100 countries. In August, the company exported 24,008 units.
Kapoor said high export volumes helped the company absorb the rise in the cost of imported components caused by the currency volatility.
The company, however, has not firmed up plans to export its newest offering — the Grand i10. “At the moment, there are no export commitments. We are focussing on the domestic market,” Kapoor said.
Hyundai’s domestic sales fell below 30,000 units in July following the slowdown in the industry.
Kapoor said Hyundai was not looking at an immediate price revision to compensate for the rising import costs. The company had revised its prices at the beginning of the fiscal.
With the festive season round the corner, the car maker is looking to absorb a large part of the cost and delay any price hike.
Instead, Hyundai is steadily increasing its level of localisation. The Grand i10 has a localisation content of 90 per cent.
According to Kapoor, average localisation content across other models ranged from 70 per cent to 80 per cent except for the Santa Fe. The SUV is brought to India in CKD (completely knocked down) form and then assembled here.
Placed between the i10 and i20, the Grand i10 was introduced to boost the company’s sales in gloomy market conditions. The car, which is available in both diesel and petrol variants, will compete against market leader Maruti Suzuki’s latest offering — the Stingray.
Car sales fell 7.4 per cent in July as economic slowdown and feeble consumer sentiments hit demand. This has prompted the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the apex industry body, to seek a stimulus package from the government.
Praful Patel, minister of heavy industries, has also pitched for a stimulus package to revive the sector which is “one of the largest employers and contributes almost 25 per cent to manufacturing GDP”.