The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hyundai still hopes to bring in Kia models

New Delhi, May 22: Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), the country’s second largest automaker, today said the firm will again seek the finance ministry’s permission to introduce models from its Korea-based subsidiary Kia Motors.

“We will again approach the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for permission to introduce the Carren model,” B. V. R. Subbu, Hyundai India’s president, told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference on launch of the new-look version of its Santro compact car.

The 1.1-litre Santro Xing would cost Rs 3,29,721 for the lower-end version while the most expensive automatic model is priced at Rs 4,30,556.

Earlier, the finance ministry had turned down Hyundai’s request on the grounds that import of models from offshore-based subsidiary companies are not allowed.

Hyundai India, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co, said the new Santro Xing hatchback would triple exports this financial year.

The Xing will be made only in India to service export markets in Europe and other countries where it will replace the Santro Zip Plus, Hyundai officials said. The Santro Zip Plus is made both in India and South Korea.

“We expect export of more than 30,000 units in 2003-04 financial,” Subbu said, adding sales, which includes exports, would rise to 1,50,000 units this year from 1.12 lakh units a year ago.

The prices are identical to the older Santro and Hyundai expects most customers to prefer the redesigned compact. “We will stop production of Zip Plus when demand stops,” he said.

The automaker said it would complete a capacity expansion to 1,50,000 units a year by July and would also invest around Rs 950 crore to raise capacity to 2,50,000 units by mid-2004.

HMIL, with a 19.1 per cent share of the domestic car market in 2002-03, is also aiming to increase the number of its service outlets to 1,000 from the present 335 by tying up with domestic oil retailer firms, like Indian Oil Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd.

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