Amidst great pomp and show, which included a sound and light experience, a
performance by lady gymnasts suspended from the ceiling, and some very good looking
young people strutting the catwalk, Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) unveiled
its latest offering in the compact car category, the i10.
to compliment it''s ''A'' segment offering, the Hyundai i10, which was codenamed
"Pa" during its development, together with the Santro and the Getz Prime,
will make the company one of the biggest players in the category, according to
managing director H S Lheem.
car itself if quite an eye-catcher, and left the audience trying to figure out
which was prettier - the Getz, or the i10. Loaded with stylistic and functional
innovations, the car is decidedly world-class.
new i10 is powered by a 1.1 litre, iRDE petrol engine that marries power to fuel
economy, developing maximum power of 66.7PS@5500 RPM, and a peak torque of 10.1
kgm @ 2800 RPM. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with a console
mounted, ergonomic, short throw i-shift gear box, which frees up space between
the driver and the passenger seat, and also gives a unique look, counted amongst
the numerous category-firsts the car has in terms of features. The car has a motor
driver power steering system, and also comes in the option of a 4-speed automatic
transmission to ease up city driving.
exteriors and spacious interiors, the i10 comes with airconditioning and heating,
folding rear seats, dual-tone beige interiors, seat belts with pretensioners,
and an electronic odometer and trip meter, and tubeless tyres as standard fitments.
The top end variant also sports a sun-roof, another category-first, with a rear
spoiler, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, keyless entry, 2-DIN audio
system with MP3 that is blended into the dashboard, giving the car a premium look
and feel similar to some of the C and D-segment cars.
on safety, the i10 comes with anti-lock braking system (ABS), seat belts with
pretensioners, dual airbags for the driver and front passenger, and another category
first - an impact sensing auto door unlock mechanism that automatically unlocks
the doors upon impact.
i10 will be marketed in four trims, the D-lite, the Era, the Magna which is the
top end variant, and the Auto with automatic transmission. It will sport a colour
range of 10 colours.
aggressively to heat up competition in the segment, the car varies from Rs3.39
lakhs (excluding octroi), to Rs3,98,500 for the top end variant, in Mumbai.
the media and the audience through a brief introduction prior to the launch, H
S Lheem said that HMIL has come a long way since the ground breaking ceremony
at its factory in Chennai in 1996, and the launch of the Santro in 1998. Talking
about the i10, he said that the car offers "a blend of style and practicality",
and was "good to look at, and even better to drive".
the name ''i10'', Lheem said that the ''i'' stood for inspiration, intelligence, and
innovation, with the car being loaded with all three in terms of inspiration for
the design, intelligent engineering, and a number of innovations, some of which
come as "category firsts", as no other car in the category offers them.
Lheem said the
focus of the company, while covering all of the above, was to keep the car affordable
to its Indian customers. The ''10'' in the car''s name signifies "A" segment,
and consequently the ''i20'' and ''i30'' would be HMIL''s offerings in the "B"
and "C" segments, Lheem said.
further said that the i10 would be manufactured only at the company''s Chennai
plant, and would be exported to 75 countries, starting from early 2008. He also
clarified that the Santro would continue to be manufactured, and that the i10
would add strength to HMIL''s product offering in the compact category.
Kook Choi, president, Hyundai Motor Company, thanked the company''s Indian customers
for their support over the past decade, and reaffirmed the company''s commitment
to India, and its plans to make it a hub for small cars. He said that starting
next year, the company would be exporting 50 per cent of its production, about
300,000 units, and HMIL contributes 30 per cent of HMC''s overseas production.
future plans, Choi, who had specially flown down from Korea for this global premier
of the i10, said that HMIL will strengthen its research and development capabilities
at the Hyderabad facility, and would offer integrated research and development,
sales, and marketing to the Indian car market.
before the unveiling, HMIL''s vice president of sales and marketing, Arvind Saxena
explained the features of the car, and how Hyundai seeks to position it along
with the Santro and the Getz, saying that the i10 would bring about "a paradigm
shift in the way India looks at compacts." The i10, according to Saxena is
positioned in the mid-range of the "A" segment, which is seeing the
questions from the media, H S Lheem said that 1,500 units of the i10 would be
manufactured this month, and the year end tally would be around 15,000 units,
all for the domestic market. The car has an unbelievable 94 per cent indigenous
content, and would be marketed through the company''s 196 existing dealerships,
which will be ramped up to 250 by the end of 2007.
said that the European market, which is a key market for the i10, is about 40
per cent diesel. Consequently, HMIL has already developed a diesel variant of
the i10, and would be exporting it starting January 2008. He said the company
has not yet set a date for launching the diesel, CNG, and LPG variants in India,
but affirmed that the company had plans of bringing the car out in these alternative
fuel options some time in the future.
to domain-b, Arvind Saxena said that the car was targeted at young
Indians, in the 25-35 age groups, possibly with double incomes. Asked about how
he sees the car competing with competition, he said the i10 would definitely give
the Chevy Spark, the Maruti Zen Estilo, and other competing cars a run for their
money. Asked about how he foresaw the i10 tackling the run-away success of Maruti''s
Swift, he simply said, "Watch us!"