Korean major Hyundai revs up for SUV market with CRETA

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) today unveiled its new SUV 'CRETA'. The company has said that besides domestic market, the product will also be exported, excluding European markets.

This marks the Korean major Hyundai's entry to growing SUV segment and will add Hyundai's product lineup to a robust 10-product portfolio.

The vehicle was unveiled at the company's facility at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. CRETA will be the fourth global product of Hyundai unveiled in India. The other three are Grand i10, Xcent and Elite i20.

BS Seo, managing director & CEO, HMIL said, "The global SUV CRETA will herald a new chapter in Hyundai Motor India's success story and will set a new benchmark in the SUV segment of India." "Hyundai's strong vision for India is further strengthened with the CRETA," he added.

Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president and division head - marketing and sales division, HMIL, said that company's current offering in this segment includes Hyundai's i20 Active - a sports style product - and Santa Fe, a premium SUV. The new CRETA will be placed in between and he declined to share the price point of the vehicle.

The company had invested around Rs 1,000 crore in developing this market. Localisation level would be around 90 per cent and it's a completely new platform, said Srivastava.

He is optimistic that the product would sell better considering no new launches were there in the last two years and the existing players only upgraded the products. "Whenever a new product comes in, it will not only give the brand a push, but also give the segment a fillip." While declining to share the projected sales volume, Srivastava said for the year the company set a target to sell 4.65 lakh units, including all the brands, in the local markets.

CRETA is expected to be competing with products like Renault's Duster and Nissan's Terrano and others and is likely to be in the sub Rs 10 lakh price range, according to industry sources.

Srivasatava said Hyundai has consolidated its position in the compact and sedan segments and now would replicate the same in SUV. He added that there will be a total of eight variants in both petrol and diesel.

SL Anathakrishna, senior manager, engineering support, HMIL said, "With CRETA, HMIL completes its SUV offering. The key to success for an SUV includes engine, powertrain, smooth ride, optimum level of noise reduction and safety."

Srivastava said the company decided CRETA not to be in the sub-four metre since it doesn't want to compromise on safety.

The new SUV comes with "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0" design, with features including multiple powertrain options and engineering. Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 captures three main design elements: Fluid aesthetics, the modern Hyundai look, and a premium ambience.

CRETA will be available with a choice of petrol 1.6 Dual VTVT and U2 1.4 CRDi and U2 1.6 CRDi VGT diesel engines. The 6-speed manual and automatic transmission (in 1.6 CRDi VGT) offer the customers a blend of high performance and enhanced driving pleasure, claimed the company.

The automatic transmission with 1.6 CRDi VGT is a first in the segment diesel AT offering and would redefine SUV driving experience for the Indian customer. HMIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company (HMC). HMIL is the largest passenger car exporter and the second largest car manufacturer in India.

It currently has nine car models across segments - Eon, i10, Grand i10, Elite i20, Active i20, Xcent, Verna, Elantra and Santa Fe. HMIL exports to around 85 countries across Africa, West Asia, Latin America, Australia and the Asia Pacific.

HMIL has been India's No. 1 exporter for the last 10 years consecutively.