Hyundai Motor plans to launch its commercial vehicle, premium car and financing businesses in India, as the nation’s second-largest carmaker aims to claim a bigger share of this fast-growing market for vehicles, three people in the know of its plans said.
The Korean chaebol is likely to invest more than $4 billion (Rs 26,000 crore) in India over the next four-five years, including towards its new businesses, product launches and the money committed by affiliate Kia Motors, they said.
Hyundai, which entered India two decades ago, is among a few global automobile manufacturers to have scripted a consistently profitable journey here. It reported more than $5 billion in India revenue last year. While it took 20 years for Hyundai to invest $4 billion in the country, the investment is now set to double in the next four-five years.
It is evaluating the possibilities of entering the commercial vehicle market in a joint venture to manufacture and sell buses and medium heavy duty trucks, the people said. Several studies have also been undertaken to bring in its premium car arm, Genesis. But the first off the block will likely be the captive finance arm, Hyundai Capital. It has already started hiring staff for a likely entry into India next year, the people said.
Mobis, the parts and services provider for Hyundai and Kia, has established itself fairly well in India, where the market is growing quickly, said one of the people. “Hyundai recognises time is ripe to explore the possibilities of bringing in commercial vehicles and luxury cars (to India). The company has actively conducted studies through consultants to find ways of expanding its participation in India,” he said.
A Hyundai Motor spokesperson didn’t confirm or deny the plans. “We continuously conduct feasibility studies to check the new market trends to avail (of) new opportunities and understand customer needs to capture growing opportunities in the world markets,” the spokesperson said in response to ET’s queries.
In the past, too, the company has explored the possibility of launching mini and pickup trucks in India, but did not go ahead. The Kia Bongo Truck has been spotted several times at Hyundai’s plant at Sriperumbudur, being tested intermittently. It was in fact very close to launching luxury buses with Swraj Paul’s Caparo during 2008-2011, before calling off the plan due to a slowdown in the market at that time.
Hyundai is eyeing a partner in Northern India for the commercial vehicle business.