Hyundai rolls back sales target in the wake of the financial crisis; exports first shipment of i20

Hyundai Motor India has started to feel the effects of the global financial crisis. India's second largest passenger car maker after Maruti Suzuki, had thus far enjoyed a relatively clean run in sales during the January – October period this year, and is a shade short of hitting the production mark of 2 million cars this week since it set up shop in India 10 years ago.

Speaking to the media, on the occasion of rolling out the first batch of i20 cars for the export market, HMIL managing director H S Lheem said that his company was no exception to the international financial crisis, which he said has hit its distributors. ''We are working with them to tide over the problem,'' Lheem said.

HMIL has doubled its production capacity for cars from three lakh to six lakh, had planned a sales target of six lakh cars, which included 2.7 lakh cars as exports in 2008. Now, on account of the uncertainty, HMIL has revised its sales target downwards to 5.3 lakh cars, and expects to close the year with 5.15 lakh cars, the company said.

In 2007, HMIL's total sales had gone up by 9.2 per cent to 327,160 cars. While its domestic sales rose by 7.6 per cent to 2 lakh cars, HMIL's exports for 2007 rose 11.8 per cent to 1.26 lakh cars.

Reports suggest that sales were lacklustre this festive season, and the company does not anticipate any large recovery during 2009, even though it plans to produce over six lakh cars in 2009. Reports also suggested that HMIL will support its dealers in advertising and marketing activities.

Lheem said that HMIL did well in the first 10 months of 2008, notching up record sales of 4.07 lakh cars during the January to October 2008 period, higher by 49 per cent year on year from 2007.