CarDekho was in talks with Hyundai’s Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing), Mr Rakesh Srivastava after the company unveiled the new Santa Fe and XCent— the new compact sedan that will compete with the Maruti Suzuki DZire and the Honda Amaze. Hyundai is the second largest player in the Indian auto market and is also the biggest car exporter from India. We speak to Mr Srivastav and ask his strategy for the XCent and company’s plans for 2014.
1). The XCent has been doing a good job already. Has it affected the Grand i10 sales?
RS: Hyundai has a well-established market for each of its models. Both our products; Xcent and Grand i10 are leaders in their respective segments and cater to different set of customers. Grand i10 has been a trendsetter in the premium hatchback segment while Xcent is a premium compact family sedan in terms of quality, design, space, best in segment features and driving pleasure. The Grand i10 manages an average of 10,300 units per month and has found more than 90,000 buyers in the last 8 months of sales. Hyundai strategically position its offerings to ensure no cannibalization within products.
2). Please let us more about the response on the Eon 1.0.
RS: Hyundai EON 1.0 Magna has been refreshed to provide the customers a strong option in the entry level hatchback segment. The car has been accepted well by our customers and is performing in line with our expectations.
3). Hyundai has a plan to manufacture 6.75 lakh units for Indian market. Is that still the goal or has the number increased or decreased?
RS: We are manufacturing our products as per our business plans for India. Hyundai’s plant near Chennai is a fully integrated state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and boasts advance production, quality and testing capabilities with an annual production capacity of 6.8 lakh. With value engineering we would be offering world class products to our customers in India and export markets.
4). How many rural outlets does Hyundai have and how many more could be seen this year?
RS: Hyundai has been constantly focusing on its rural markets outreach to increase sales by increasing the number of Rural Sales outlets (RSO) from the current 270 to about 350. These outlets are built in Tier III cities to achieve maximized penetration. The growth achieved by Hyundai in the past has been remarkable with sales of around 46% Eon, 21% i10, 14% of i20 coming from these rural and semi-urban markets.
Rural sales are a key part of car sales strategy. In the last two years, there has been a noticeable upward trend. In 2011 around 15% of sales came from the rural and semi urban markets. In 2012, it grew to 16.9% and we expect it will increase to over 20% by 2014. The rising income levels and change in lifestyle have boosted confidence among consumers in rural areas and semi-urban markets which has escalated the buying behavior in this market. Growing aspirations are as much a factor in rural markets as price sensitivity and an acute sense of value for money. Success in those markets calls for knowing how to balance those factors. Unlike urban markets which have reached their saturation levels, rural markets are yet not fully tapped upon and offer a great potential in terms of both sales and presence.
5). Is the Hyundai Champions concept being carried forward even now?
RS: Hyundai Champions concept is carried forward in full swing and we are getting positive response for our efforts. We have formed a group of prominent people in villages who act as influencers. These people are attached to our channel partners and imparted training and help to promote HMIL cars to prospective customers. The appointment of Hyundai Champions is another step by HMIL to create job opportunities in the rural areas while creating a strong brand connect with the customers.
Source : CarDekho