Hyundai Gears Up For Bigger SUV Pie With Alcazar
Korean automaker targets premium segment with flexible seating, better interiors and improved driving experience
Hyundai Motor India is all set to further strengthen its presence in the fast growing SUV segment in the country with the launch of an all-new model later this month, as per a top company official.
Christened Alcazar, the new premium SUV will come with both petrol and diesel powertrains mated with six speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The petrol trims will be powered by 2 litre BSVI engine which churns out 159 PS of power while the diesel variants will be offered with 1.5 litre BSVI powertrain which generates a power of 115 PS.
The Alcazar, which is to be positioned between Creta and Tucson, will feature six and seven seat configurations.
"The Indian market used to be a dominant hatchback market in the past. It still remains strong but the SUV segment is growing much faster, and we expect this segment to even grow further. We (Hyundai) have already experienced such situations in other global markets like Europe and the US," Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) MD and CEO SS Kim told PTI.
He noted that Creta and Venue have tasted success and now it is the turn of Alcazar to join the bandwagon.
"We are bringing the model with a lot of benefits and special features for the customers. It would be a great value-for-money offering from us and we strongly believe that we will grow this segment," Kim said.
As SUVs are safer and also offer better drivability considering current road conditions, the segment has been posting robust growth in the country, he noted.
Elaborating further, HMIL Director (Sales and Marketing) Tarun Garg said the company always believes in creating a segment rather than looking at the market shares.
He was responding to a query regarding sales expectations from the upcoming model.
"We believe that if we are able to match customer expectations then volumes will automatically come. Whether Santro 1998, Creta in 2015, i20 or Venue, we have created segments," Garg noted.
With Alcazar, the automaker is entering into a new segment as there are so many customers who would want to upgrade to a premium experience with a versatile car that has a flexible seating, great interiors and good drivability, he added.
"We believe this is the right time for the company to enter the segment. We achieved number one spot in SUV sales last year. The SUV segment is becoming larger and larger and it is the right time for us to really raise the benchmark and enter a segment which we believe customers are looking forward to," Garg said.
He noted that the model would help the company garner incremental volumes over Creta.
Garg said the SUV segment will continue to grow in the country with the new product launches that have taken place over the last 15-18 months, and more product introductions are expected in the future as well.
Hyundai led the SUV space in the country with sales of 1.8 lakh units in 2020. Its current SUV range includes Venue, Creta and Tucson.
The SUV sales have been witnessing an upward trend in the country in the recent years.
In 2015, SUV sales were just 13.5 per cent of the total passenger vehicle sales. In 2016 it rose to 17 per cent, 21 per cent in 2017, 22 per cent in 2018 and 26 per cent in 2019.
Similarly, in 2020, the sale contribution of the segment rose to 29 per cent and in the March quarter this year it surged to 34 per cent.
Alcazar comes with drive mode selection features with different steering effort mapping for Eco, City and Sport modes.
Hyundai said the SUV is being produced with extensive application of 75.6 per cent advanced and high-strength steel, making it very robust in terms of safety.
"With a deep-rooted understanding of our customer's aspirations, our R&D Centre has invested countless man hours to ensure every aspect of ALCAZAR exudes magnificence. The model is set to enter a new segment, marking the company's genesis into uncharted territories. With bold new moves, we are on a conquest of redefining benchmarks to exceed the aspirations of our customers," Kim noted.