Chennai, Feb 22 (Calcutta Tube) Korean car maker Hyundai Motor, which had earlier announced that India will be the global hub for small cars, has decided to shift part of its compact i20 car production from here to Turkey to meet the increased demand from the European Union.
‘The European demand is big and it is not possible to supply from one plant. So a certain part of the production will be shifted to Turkey,’ Arvind Saxena, director at Hyundai Motor’s wholly owned Indian subsidiary Hyundai Motor India Ltd, told reporters here Monday.
According to him, the European demand for i20 this year will be 40,000 units and the next year, it is expected to be around 70,000 units. However, he didn’t specify any time-frame for the Turkish plant to start production.
With the phasing out of another model Getz, the demand for i20 is expected to go up which Hyundai plans to meet from another location.
Adding one more production unit for the small car would not only derisk the global car company from concentrating the production at one place where labour problems recur but the decision will also free up capacity for the company which is working on a new car that will be smaller than its Santro model.
According to Saxena, the small car is under design stage and its launch will take some more time.
The Indian company is India’s largest car exporter, shipping out to 110 countries with its two models i10 and i20 accounting for the major share while other models like Santro and Accent contributing the balance.
From this year onwards, i20 is expected to account for a large share of exports with the Indian company adding ten more countries to its list taking the total to 120.
H.W. Park, managing director, Hyundai Motor India said: ‘The company commands 66 percent share of India’s total car exports. It is the only company to have shipped out one million cars from India.’
Hyundai Motor India achieved the milestone of exporting one million cars since 1999 Monday when officials flagged off an export consignment to Australia and Europe.
‘For the current year, the export target is around 260,000 units while the domestic market sales are expected to be around 320,000 units,’ Saxena added.
In 2009, the company shipped out 248,000 units from here.
Adding Australia to its list of export markets, Hyundai Motor India sent 500 units of i20 and plans to export around 15,000 units this year there.
Hyundai Motor is exploring the possibilities of exporting the Santro to Latin American countries.
The Korean car major’s Indian plant located near here has an annual capacity to roll out 600,000 units.