Hyundai launched its premium hatchback i20

Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) on Monday launched its premium hatchback i20. The compact car comes in three variants and is being offered at an introductory price of Rs.4.80 lakh-Rs.5.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company is also planning to increase the prices of its products in January due to higher input costs.

The five-door i20 comes with the new generation 1.2 litre Kappa petrol engine, providing maximum power of 80PS. It is Euro V ready and meets all the existing emission norms.

Hyundai i20 Photo gallery

Launching the premium hatchback, HMIL Managing Director H.S. Lheem said: “Designed to meet the high quality standards, i20 is developed to meet the increasing customer expectations in terms of styling, features and safety standards.”

According to Mr. Lheem, HMIL expects to sell 1.2 lakh units of i20 in the overseas markets in the next year, while its target for the domestic market is 20,000 units. The new car is being exclusively manufactured at its Chennai facility and exported worldwide. HMIL has already started i20 exports to Europe from November.

HMIL is also planning to hike the prices of its cars next month, the last being a two per cent increase in June. “Raw material prices, labour costs and other input costs have increased. We are looking to increase the prices by less than two per cent in January,” Mr. Lheem said. Due to slump in demand, HMIL is also not planning to absorb 1,200 trainees as it trims production, though there will be no job cuts.

Talking about sales in 2008, Mr. Lheem said that against the target of 5.3 lakh cars, it would be selling around 4.9 lakh units due to fall in demand in domestic and export markets. Demanding special incentives from the government to boost exports, he said: “There has been a sharp drop in export orders for the next three months. There are less orders for ‘Made in India’ cars for Hyundai.”

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