South Korean automotive group Hyundai Motor is preparing for a “new Group leadership position in EVs” in India given that the country will be a competitive electric vehicle battleground in the years to come, the company said on Tuesday.
The group also plans to make its R&D centre in Hyderabad a hub for future mobility research, including electrification and autonomous driving, while it is lining up five electric vehicles to be introduced in India by 2032. In a mid-to-long-term mobility strategy review of the Indian market during the visit of Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung to the country, the group said it has discussed the preparations for a “new Group leadership position in EVs” given that India will be a competitive EV battleground in the years to come.
The group expects the Indian passenger car market to exceed 50 lakh units by 2030 with SUVs estimated to account for 48 per cent while EVs are expected to reach 10 lakh units. During his two-day tour, Chung visited Hyundai Motor India Engineering (HMIE) located in Hyderabad — the brand’s R&D hub in India, and the automobile plants in Chennai and reviewed the strategic importance of the country as a future mobility hub. “With this in mind, preparations for a new Group leadership position in EVs were also discussed given the country will be a competitive EV battleground in the years to come,” the group said in a statement.
On the R&D front, the group said HMIE plays an important role in increasing sales in the Indian market and works closely with the Hyundai-Kia Namyang R&D centre in Korea to develop vehicles that are tailored for the Indian market. “In addition to strengthening local R&D capabilities, HMIE will expand its role as a hub for future mobility research, including electrification, autonomous driving, and the development of voice recognition technology in local Indian languages. To this end, construction of a new test facility began last year,” the group said in a statement. Hyundai Motor said it aims to grow quantitatively by strengthening its leadership in SUVs and expanding its EV line-up.
The growth of the Indian car market is expected to be driven by SUVs and EVs, it said, adding that the group will build an optimal production system to efficiently support vehicle production in the mid-to-long-term and create a sustainable EV ecosystem to drive growth as a leading electrification brand. The group will continue to introduce SUV models specialised for the Indian market, including the compact SUV EXTER, which was launched in July, it added. It further said, “Hyundai Motor will introduce five EV models by 2032 and expand the number of EV charging stations to 439 by 2027 by leveraging the strength of the company’s sales network.”
Hyundai said India is one of the world’s most promising automotive markets with the world’s largest population, “with 4.76 million new vehicles” sold last year behind China and the US. “The passenger car market accounted for 3.8 million units and is expected to exceed 5 million units by 2030. The country is also becoming an increasingly important centre for electric vehicle (EV) production and sales,” it added. As for group firm Kia Corp, the plan is to “strenuously target the Indian EV market based on its premium image and technological competitiveness, building on the popularity of SUVs such as the Seltos and Sonet”, the statement said.
“First, Kia will produce small EVs optimised for the local market from 2025, and will then gradually offer various EV models and Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs),” it added. Through its ‘Kia 2.0 Strategy,’ the company aims to increase its market share in India from 6.7 per cent in the first half of this year to 10 per cent in the coming years. Kia plans to expand its vehicle range and more than double its sales network from the current 300. Hyundai Motor Group said it has now firmly established itself “as the No 2 automaker in the Indian market”. “Following last year’s record-breaking sales of 8,07,067 units, the company has sold 5,02,821 units throughout July this year, up 8.8 per cent year-over-year. This year’s sales target is 8,73,000 units, 8.2 per cent more than last year,” it added.
Production at the Indian plants has also increased, it said, adding, the cumulative production through July this year was 6,30,230 units, up 8.7 per cent from 5,80,049 units last year. Hyundai Motor has expanded its production capacity with a new paint shop and additional capital investments enabling the company to produce 8.24 lakh units, an increase of 54,000 units from 7.7 lakh units, the statement added.