Pent-up demand to spur car sales till March: Hyundai

One million customers in India delayed decision to buy cars due to pandemic: Hyundai’s Kim

Hyundai Motor India, which posted record wholesale numbers last month, expects strong momentum to continue at least till March 2021, driven by pent-up demand from a million customers who delayed their purchases due to COVID-19. After March 2021, the industry, however, may see an adjustment period, a top company official said.

“As per our internal estimates, almost one million customers delayed or postponed their purchasing decision due to the pandemic situation,” Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO S.S. Kim said in an interview. “Also, there is new demand from the trend of shift to personal mobility from shared mobility. These factors will continue in the coming quarters as well,” he added.

Mr. Kim said he expected stable demand in the October-December 2020 and January-March 2021 quarters, followed by an “adjustment period”. He added that demand would be determined by the macroeconomic environment, including GDP growth, employment status and banking-related factors.

“The overall situation needs to be improved in terms of the economic indicators… due to that reason we are already a bit cautious in terms of forecasting future demand… but in the long run we can see a lot of very positive aspects in terms of growth potential in this market as the penetration ratio of the ownership is quite smaller than other countries,” he said.

The auto firm on Thursday drove in the all-new version of its premium hatchback i20 with a price range of ₹6.79 lakh and ₹11.17 lakh (ex-showroom).

“The automotive industry is quite important… a crucial one in terms of creating jobs and creating revenue not only for the individual household, but also the government in terms of tax…so, whether it is affected by some economic environment… I believe it is OEMs’ responsibility to create new car demand… The all-new i20 will play a great role in generating interest among the customers,” he said.

Asked about the demand for used cars, Mr. Kim said that due to income issues a lot of first-time buyers might be thinking about buying a used car, but due to the pandemic, not many existing car owners are willing to sell their cars. Hence, the market is currently not expanding.

Talking about retail sales, the company’s director (Sales, Marketing and Service), Tarun Garg said, “October was a very big festival month so retail was in fact better than wholesales… even when you compare it to last year, we had quite a decent growth in retail. And, this is despite the fact that last year October had both festivals — Diwali and Dussehra… and Diwali this time is in November so we surely expect the trend to continue.”

The fourth generation i20 comes with features such as hill assist control, multi-phone Bluetooth connectivity, air purifier and tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), among others. It also will come with a Bose sound system, electric sunroof and smartphone wireless charger.

The 1.2-litre petrol manual variants are priced between ₹6.79 lakh and ₹9.19 lakh and the automatic trims are tagged at ₹8.59 lakh and ₹9.69 lakh. Likewise, the 1-litre turbo petrol variants with IMT technology are priced at ₹8.79 lakh and ₹9.89 lakh while the seven-speed DCT trims cost in between ₹10.66 lakh and ₹11.17 lakh.

The 1.5-litre diesel variants are priced between Rs 8.19 lakh and Rs 10.59 lakh. The company said all prices were introductory and would remain in force till December-end.


Yuthika Bhargava

The Hindu

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