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Hyundai launches premium hatch back Getz news
Our Corporate Bureau
16 September 2004

After launching premium segment Elantra earlier this year Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) has launched the premium hatchback Getz.

This is the fifth Hyundai model to come on Indian roads and has been introduced as a five-door hatchback with 1.3-litre, 83bhp petrol engine. Getz comes in two variants GL and GLS priced at Rs4.5 lakh and Rs4.75 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi respectively.

Getz' price puts it in the bracket of mid size cars like Esteem, Ford Ikon and Opel Corsa. However, its length at 3810 mm puts it in the B segment along with cars like Palio, Indica and Sail while in terms of interior room, comfort, refinement and engine size of 1.3 litre it matches Ford Ikon, Maruti Esteem, Tata Indigo and even Accent.

Getz' 1.3 litre 83 brake horsepower four cylinder 'Alpha' engine makes it comparable to the City, Ikon and Esteem and is also expected to go easy on fuel like the City.

Launched in Europe and Australia nearly two years ago Getz has distinctively attractive styling and has been designed and built to the currently high European standards. Buyers in India can opt for the ABS (anti lock braking system), and alloy wheels by paying Rs24,000 over and above its price.

The luggage space of the Getz is somewhat constricted, clearly marking out it to be a city car, but may not be in sync with the mindset of Indian car owners.

The Getz then straddles the B and C segment. In the Indian context analysts are not very sanguine about the car's prospects keeping in mind Indian car buyers' length and size fixation. Also they feel that the fact that the car is a two-box hatch back priced equal to three-box sedans in the market may land it in trouble in India even though the B plus segment is generating a lot heat at present.

According to BVR Subbu managing director Hyundai Motor India, "Our research showed that 40 per cent of the buyers for Getz will come from the C segment and 60 per cent will be due to lateral movement within B segment itself," which clearly indicates that HMIL hopes to take away potential buyers of both B and C segment cars.

The company is also hoping Getz' roomy interiors will more than make up for any negative perceptions about its price. Subbu said that pricing a premium hatchback at the price of a three-box car was not a disadvantage. "The space within the Getz is more than the Esteem and Ikon," he said.

Hyundai Motor India is in the process of ramping up its production capacity to 2.5 lakh units at its plant in Chennai and aims to sell 8,000 units of the Getz this fiscal. According to Subbu HMIL is not looking at big numbers for the Getz for the present.

He said, "When the A2 (assembly) line is expanded to 2,000 units a month, we will look at selling 1000 units of Getz a month. This will happen in October this year. Until then, this line will be used to stock up Sonata, Viva and Elantra," he added.

At present the car has a local content of about 67 per cent that would be increased to 80 per cent in the next six months company officials say.

HMIL aims to sell a total of 2.2 lakh units of cars this year. The company suffered a loss of production during the first quarter of the year as it was ramping up capacity. The company is aiming to achieve a 20-22 per cent rise in sales turnover this year.

The company has invested about Rs50 crore for the launch of the Getz, which includes upgradation of the A2 assembly line.

Adjudged 'Europe's Car of 2002' and 'Australia's Best Small Car in 2003', Getz is produced in India and Korea only but the company has no intentions of making India its export hub.

HMIL is also not planning a diesel version of the Getz.

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Hyundai launches premium hatch back Getz