November 10, 2008

Hyundai to launch small car by 2011

CHENNAI,10 Nov.,2008: The country's second largest auto maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd said it is working on a new 'mini car' in the entry level segment which should hit the roads by 2011."We are developing a small car in the entry level range and it should hit the market by 2011," HMIL Managing Director H S Lheem told reporters here, refusing to divulge the details including the cost of the proposed car.
Interestingly, the timing of announcement of the car comes a month after the announcement shifting of Tata Motors' small car Nano's plant from Singur, West Bengal, after violent protests over the issue of land acquisition.The Tatas have since decided to relocate the unit to Gujarat.A query on whether the HMIL's small car was being planned to compete with the Tatas' Nano, failed to elicit any response from the company officials, though sources said the target group for this product would be the same as Nano's-- two-wheeler users aspiring for a car.
Lheem further said the car would be manufactured from the company's existing plant at Sriperumbudur, about 40 km from here."We have adequate capacity to manufacture (the new car) in the plant.Its capacity is about 650,000 cars per annum and we are sure that it will be accommodated," Lheem, who was here to flag off the company's 'i20' range of cars, produced at the Sriperumbudur plant to the European market, said.
On the current global financial crisis, Lheem said, "25 per cent of the total sales has been affected and most of our distributors present in various countries have also asked us to postpone the shipments"."Distributors especially from France and Ireland have asked the shipments to be postponed" he said, adding even quite a few (distributors) have also cancelled their orders for the 'i20' range of cars due to the crisis. -PTI

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