Hyundai is targeting a 17% increase in sales in the burgeoning Indian market this year to consolidate its position as number two in the country behind Maruti Suzuki.

With consumer spending on the increase, the South Korean carmaker, which has a plant in Chennai, aims to sell 340,000 vehicles in 2010, up from 290,000 last year,

Industry car sales in India jumped a third in the second quarter of this year and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers Association has forecast full-year sales to grow 12-13% in the financial year ending next March.

The country's economy is forecast to expand around 8.5% in 2010/11, the fastest pace after China among major economies. This is expected to drive demand for vehicles.

Hyundai, which started operations in India in 1996, has a 19% share of the Indian car market and is the leading exporter of cars from the country. However, overseas sales are expected to fall 3.5% this year to 250,000-255,000 units from 259,000 in 2009 as global car demand loses steam.

The company said that export demand rose over the past 12 months due to scrappage schemes in Europe, but the markets were now returning to normal.