Sify. In an effort to counter “disappointing” sales, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) plans to launch a diesel version of its premium Sonata model in October 2006, and introduce CNG-powered small cars by January 2007.
HMIL Managing Director H S Lheem made the announcement to reporters in New Delhi. The company expects to sell about 200 units of the diesel each month. Currently, HMIL sells about 50 units of the Sonata monthly.
Hyundai is also working on modifications to its Getz compact, and is considering a diesel variant, according to Lheem.
Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company and is the second largest and the fastest growing car manufacturer in India. In July, HMIL sold a total of 24,615 vehicles, with 16,209 units in the domestic market and 8,406 units in the export market. The domestic sales in July were up 50.5% over July 2005. The cumulative sales in the month grew by 27.4% over the corresponding month in CY2005.
The company recorded combined sales of 252,851 during calendar year 2005 with a growth of 17.26% over year 2004. HMIL is India’s fastest growing car company having produced 1,000,000 cars in the 90 months since its inception and is the largest exporter of passenger cars. HMIL has recorded a growth of 27.2% in exports over the year 2004.
HMIL has announced plans for its second plant, which will produce 300,000 units per year, raising HMIL’s total production capacity to 600,000 per annum by 2007.