Hyundai, Fiat hop on to small car bandwagon

It is definitely boom time for small car makers in India, going by the number of new launches in this segment. On Tuesday, both Korea's Hyundai and Italian Fiat announced plans to enter this segment.

Buoyed by the success of its Santro, i10 and i20 models, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said it is working on another new compact car smaller than the Santro, Hyundai's best-selling compact car that is now being developed in Korea.

The new India-specific car is also being developed in Korea, HMIL's recently appointed managing director and chief executive Han Woo Park told newspersons in Chennai.

While Park refused to comment on the launch schedule and the pricing of the new car, he said investment in the development of any new car is close to Rs800 crore. He said the key to HMIL's strategy to grow in the domestic market would be the launch of a car smaller than the Santro.

The car would be smaller than the Santro in terms of engine displacement and priced lower too, Park said.

This small car plan is also in line with HMIL's strategy to increase its share of revenue from the domestic market. The domestic sales to export ratio is currently 50:50, and Park hopes to change this to 60:40 next year.