Hyundai to launch small car in India by 2011 -exec


NEW DELHI, May 30 (Reuters) - South Korea's top automaker, Hyundai Motor Co , hopes to launch its small car in India by 2011 or 2012, the managing director of its India unit said on Friday.

The company has said it is developing a car priced at around $3,500 to attract customers in China and India, where competition is set to hot up when Tata Motors starts selling its $2,500 Nano, possibly the world's cheapest, later this year.

Motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto owns 50 percent in a venture with Renault and partner Nissan Motor to make a similarly priced car from 2011.

"We don't have any immediate plan to fight against the Nano," Hyundai's H.S. Lheem told reporters on the sidelines of a traffic event.

He said there was demand for a smaller model than its Santro, adding the small car would be launched in other countries also.

Hyundai, India's No. 2 carmaker after Maruti Suzuki India Ltd , is pursuing research and development work for the small car at its facilities in Korea and also in the southern Indian cities of Hyderabad and Chennai, Lheem said.

The company exported slightly above 100,000 cars from India last year and expects to double this to more than 200,000 in 2008, he said.

When asked whether surging oil prices would hurt car sales, he said: "There would be a small impact. But not so much as other manufacturers."

Hyundai Motor has also signed a technical assistance agreement with UK-based Caparo Group to make luxury buses in India.

Lheem said mass-production was expected to start in the "early part of next year", but declined to give details. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)



Follow Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×