SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. is planning to produce a low-cost minicar in India by 2011 to compete with locally produced vehicles such as Tata's new Nano, a company executive said Wednesday.
The low-cost, fuel-efficient minicar models will be priced between 3.5 million Korean won (US$3,700; euro2,500) and 5 million won, Cho Won-suk, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor's Advanced Technology Center, told Dow Jones Newswires at an industry event.
Mumbai-based Tata Motors Ltd. recently unveiled the Nano — billed as the world's cheapest car — and said it will go on sale for US$2,500 (euro1,700) by October.
Cho said no production of the mini-car is planned for South Korea.
Hyundai is the second-largest automaker in India, where small cars dominate the market. Maruti Suzuki Ltd., in which Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. owns a majority stake, is the market leader with about 50 percent share. Homegrown Tata Motors is third-biggest.
Hyundai is pushing to diversify its product portfolio with fuel-efficient cars, and plans to introduce a version of its Avante sedan powered by liquefied petroleum gas by 2009, said Cho.
The company also aims to introduce a sport utility vehicle and midsize sedans power by fuel cells by 2012, he said. It is targeting the launch of a hybrid car by 2020, he said.
Hyundai, together with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp., is the world's sixth-largest carmaker by sales.