CHENNAI: Hyundai Motor India Ltd., (HMIL) has launched a new

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) will be launching its i20 model by end of this year.

Mr H S Lheem, managing director and CEO, HMIL said that the new model would be launched for both domestic and international markets.

"With i20, Hyundai will complete its portfolio in the compact car segment. Santro, i10 and i20 will cater to the lower, middle and upper end segments respectively in the compact car market," he said.

Hyundai Motors India on Tuesday, started production at its new Engine and Transmission Plant at Sriperumbudur in Chennai.

Vehicles above 1500-1999 cc face duty of Rs. 15,000 Those with 2000 cc and above will cost Rs. 20,000 more In a firm move to discourage fuel guzzlers on the road in the wake of rising fuel prices, the government on Friday imposed a stiff additional excise duty of about Rs. 15,000-20,000 as a specific levy on large cars, MUVs (multi-utility vehicles) and SUVs (sports utility vehicles).

The domestic auto market is showing signs of revival thanks to the 4 percentage point cut (400 bps) in excise duty on cars and two-wheelers announced in February. April witnessed a jump of more than 17 per cent in the car segment, while sales in the utility vehicle segment rose by 31 per cent, as compared with the corresponding month last year. According to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the passenger-vehicle segment, which also includes multi-purpose vehicles, grew by 21 per cent. The motorcycle sales grew by 8 per cent during the month.

India's largest carmaker suffers 2 per cent decline in sales.

The lines are shut at the second plant of Hyundai Motor India (hmil) near Chennai and hundreds of unfinished i 10s are sitting on the brand new assembly line as journalists tour the new facility that the South Korean carmaker has established at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore.

Hyundai Motors India Ltd (HMIL) is evaluating the feasibility of introducing a diesel and a CNG variant of its compact new offering - i10. The petrol version of the small car is presently being manufactured for domestic and export markets at its recently inaugurated second plant within its existing plant here. The new ultra modern plant would be fully commissioned by 2009, HMIL would be capable of producing 6,00,000 units per year, doubling its present capacity of 3,00,000 units per annum. The new pant has been set up as a global manufacturing hub for all small cars in Hyundai's stable. Ashok Jha, president, HMIL, said presently the new plant running was running a single shift and on an average it was producing 400 cars a day. Around 25,000 units had rolled out ever since the i10 model was launched few months ago. He said Santro, the lowest price in Hyundai's stable, continues to be the most popular model. "We will continue to produce Santro. Depending upon the customers' feedback and surveys, we are constantly improvement wherever required,' Jha stated. HMIL officials confirmed that the new plant had been set up by the leading Korean car manufacturer keeping in mind the growing segment of the small cars, especially after showcasing of Nano by Tata Motors. Already 40 per cent of the cars being rolled up from the existing facility were being exported. Jha was, however, non-committal about the deadline for developing a smaller car than Santro. On the new models to be launched this year, the company has announced to introduce the i20 model in the mid-size segment and Santa Fe in SUV segment. Both products to be rolled out by the end of 2008 would be available in the domestic and export markets. Santa Fe was popular in the US. Hyundai has also decided to phase out the Elantra. The company has invested Rs 1,419 crore in the second plan.

Diesel cars may become costlier by Rs 1.8 lakh.

Currently, one of the main reasons for the high popularity of diesel cars is that the fuel is cheaper, which translates into low running costs.

Roudra Bhattacharya

New Delhi, Feb. 5

Despite being placed second for its sharp accent on resource management, Hyundai has to kickstart initiatives to be in the driver s seat