Hyundai Motor said it planned to increase production of its newly launched Exter small SUV in India to meet strong demand in a segment with few competitors.

India last year was the world’s third largest automotive market, behind only China and the US, with 4.8m sales.

Hyundai said it planned to increase Exter production from 6,000 to 8,000 units per month by the end of 2023 at a factory near Chennai to meet growing demand for entry level SUVs.

The 1.2-litre Exter, which went into production last June, is based on the K1 platform used for the Casper (Grand i10) small car. The model is keenly priced at around INR600,000 (US$7,200) and the company said it has received orders for 75,000 units since its launch early in July.

Hyundai with sister company Kia is the second best selling automaker in India behind Maruti-Suzuki. In the first eight months of 2023, the group’s Hyundai Motor India subsidiary alone produced 503,000 vehicles – 400,500 for sale locally and 102,600 for export. The Creta compact SUV is the brand’s best selling model in India followed bv the sub-compact Venue SUV and the i10-based Nios small car.

Hyundai is producing at full capacity in India and has indicated it may prioritise Exter output at the expense of lower margin models such as the Nios.

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By GlobalData

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