SOUTH KOREA: Hyundai aims to localise its cars
Having established a worldwide production network, Hyundai now needs to modernise its model line to reflect local design tastes and customer needs in the fast growing BRIC markets.
The company has expanded its production capacity in China, Russia and India and is now close to completing its factory in Brazil. Hyundai is now reportedly considering introducing localised versions of its SUVs in Russia.
This has been sparked by the popularity of the Solaris sub-compact made at the carmaker’s St. Petersburg plant. This is a localised version of the Accent sedan that has been produced in Russia since the first quarter of 2011.
A Hyundai spokesman told the Korea Herald that the company was considering a redesigned version of the Tucson ix. He added that a large number of Korean component makers have expressed willingness to move into the Russian market with financial support from the state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea.
Hyundai has created about 1,000 jobs in the St Petersburg area together with 11 parts suppliers from Korea.
In India, where Hyundai is second behind Maruti Suzuki, its Eon model has gained popularity, becoming one of the five best-selling cars there.
Its factory at Chennai also produces the Santro, a localised version of the Atoz, plus the i10 and i20 which are exported to 110 countries in Africa, Europe and South America.
In China, the carmaker has outlined a strategy to launch a lengthened version of a Korean-built model. Beijing Hyundai already assembles six models: the Sonata, Avante (Elantra), Tucson, Sonata NFC, Accent and Elantra Yuedong.
In Brazil, Hyundai is launching the HB20 ? Hyundai Brazil 20 ? with which it will enter the biggest and most competitive segment in the market.
The HB20 was designed specifically for Brazil and will also be the first model to be produced at Hyundai’s fully-owned new plant in the Piracicaba region.
The five-door hatchback is related to the European market i20 but has different exterior styling and interior.