Hyundai India is set to introduce the compact Tucson SUV in India
market after the Getz hatchback is launched.

The automaker has just delayed the launch of the Getz several days owing to the current truckers strike. The company plans to consolidate Getz production so that it does not affect deliveries of the older Santro Xing which is being exported in large numbers.

Unlike the Santri and Getz, Hyundai will launch the Tucson as a CBU (completely built up) imported model at an expected INR1.4 million.

Unruffled by the lacklustre response to its larger Terracan SUV (a boxy model based on an ancient Mitsubishi Pajero/Shogun design), Hyundai will launch the newly designed Tuscon early in 2005. The price compares favourably to the INR2.0 million charged for the old-fashioned Terracan. Modern packaging and features should help volume sales.

In July, Hyundai sold only 57 Terracans compared to 182 of the rival Honda CRV. The Tucson is currently being tested by the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India).

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It is based on a stretched Elantra platform (which it shares with Hyundai subsidiary Kia’s upcoming redesigned Sportage), that is slightly smaller than the Sonata platform-based Santa Fe SUV.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup