Hyundai Motor India is riding the wave of success with its subcompact SUV, Exter, as it witnesses a surge in demand, prompting the company to take bold production expansion steps. With an impressive 75,000 cumulative bookings for the Exter, Hyundai has decided to ramp up production by a substantial 30%. This move reflects the company’s commitment to meeting the soaring demand for this popular entry-level SUV.
Initially, the production plan for the Exter was set at 6,000 units per month. However, in response to the overwhelming interest and growing bookings, Hyundai Motor India is revving up its manufacturing capabilities to produce 8,000 units monthly. Moreover, to tackle the extended waiting period, which has stretched from six to nine months, the company is rerouting some export volumes to the domestic market. This strategic shift is aimed at catering to eager Indian customers who are eagerly awaiting their Exter deliveries.
Tarun Garg, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hyundai Motor India, shared his insights on the remarkable success of the Exter. He emphasized that the Exter has attracted a new breed of buyers at the entry level, thanks to its high aspirational appeal and standout features like a sunroof and standard six airbags. Garg noted that approximately 75% of Exter buyers opt for the sunroof variant.
Despite initial concerns about the Exter cannibalizing sales of the Venue, Hyundai reports that Venue sales have remained robust, consistently surpassing 10,000 units per month. The impact on the entry-level hatchback segment has been marginal, affecting only 1,000-1,500 units, which is a negligible figure. As a result, the Exter has contributed significantly to Hyundai’s sales, adding approximately 6,000 units.
With the introduction of the Exter, SUVs now account for a substantial 64% of Hyundai Motor India’s total sales, a figure that exceeds the industry average by 10-15%. Garg anticipates that this share of SUVs will remain consistently high in the coming years. The Exter’s launch has already revitalized the entry-level SUV market, securing its position as the second-best-selling entry-level SUV, trailing only the Tata Punch. This success has helped Hyundai regain a 20% segment share in the SUV space.
Hyundai boasts segment leadership across various categories, including the mid-size sedan segment with the Verna, mid-size SUV space with the Creta, and the C-segment SUV with the Tucson. These achievements underscore Hyundai’s strong presence and desirability among prospective car buyers.
As the festive season approaches, Hyundai is gearing up by maintaining a healthy inventory of 20-25 days at its dealerships. This has helped reduce the waiting period for the Creta from six months to just two months. Garg expressed optimism about the forthcoming festive season, recognizing it as a crucial period for turning consumers’ dreams into reality. He also noted that the supply situation has improved, pent-up demand has largely subsided, and fresh demand remains robust. Hyundai has posted a growth of more than 10% during Onam, and it anticipates a growth rate of 9-10% for the overall festive season, building upon the high base from the previous year.
In a year where the passenger vehicle market has witnessed a 9% growth, Hyundai is well-positioned to conclude the year with a similar growth rate or even higher. The company’s commitment to meeting customer demands and its strategic product lineup have placed it in a favorable position in the Indian automotive market.