South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motors is making the global debut of its smallest car, Eon, in India next month, and has already started the trial production at its Chennai facility.
The new car will take on Maruti Alto, India’s largest selling car, and will be made exclusively in India. Pegged at the starting price of 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the car carrying an 800 cc engine and options of both manual and automatic transmission will be a major volume driver for its wholly owned Indian subsidiary Hyundai Motor India after sales of its smaller aging cars - Santro and i10 - has started tapering off in the Indian market.
“New car launches are determined on the basis of the long-term outlook on a market. Our outlook on the Indian market in the medium and long-term is very positive. We want to address the Indian customer with regular product launches,” Hyundai director (marketing & sales) Arvind Saxena said.
According to auto industry insiders, Hyundai Motor global chairman Mong-Koo Chung will fly down to Delhi especially for the launch in the middle of October. Eon is Hyundai’s most ambitious project till date catering to the segment, which is the largest in the Indian market and carries tremendous potential for volume growth and will be made exclusively in India only for all global markets.
The new car will be pitted directly against Alto that sold over three-lakh units in 2010 to became world’s largest sold single car brand.
“Eon is the best bet for Hyundai to increase sales after relatively sound success of its smaller cars like Santro,” said a Mumbai-based auto analyst.