Hyundai plant in Chennai ready for electric vehicles, BS VI-compliant cars: Koo
Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) has announced that its manufacturing plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai is ready to take on the next 20 years of technologies expected in the market. HMIL MD and CEO YK Koo has stated that these future technologies including BS VI emission norms, car and pedestrian safety norms, as well as the standardisation of ABS and airbags in all models. Another technology the plant is ready to produce here is electric vehicles (EVs). All this readiness comes as Hyundai India aims to become the market leader in the country by 2020.
Elaborating the company's plan, Koo said that they plan to launch eight new cars between 2018-2020. This includes the electric SUV the company plans to bring to India in the second half of 2019. The SUV is to have a range of 250km (claimed) per charge. While HMIL has not announced the model, it is likely to be the Hyundai Kona Electric as reported earlier. Koo stated Hyundai India is in talks with the company's management in South Korea regarding the battery technology.
Hyundai Motor India Pvt Ltd MD and CEO YK Koo at the launch of the 2018 Hyundai facelift
Following this, the company plan to carry out a full model change before 2020 to its current range before 2020. But most importantly Koo said that the new Hyundai small car, codenamed AH2, which has been spotted testing in camouflage over recent months is not going to be named the Santro. Instead, Hyundai India will conduct a naming contest beginning from August 16, to crowd-source a name suitable for a "compact contemporary family car", he said.
And the plant is already equipped to handle all these new models. The Chennai facility which has a production capacity of 7.13 lakh units per year at the moment, will be ready for a capacity of 7.50 lakh units in 2019 without any investment. The plant is presently running at almost 100 per cent utilisation of its current capacity.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Another possibility of freeing up capacity will come from the development of plants in other nearby markets. Koo gave the example of Vietnam and Philippines and said that if those markets move to CKD and local assembly instead of directly importing from here, then the capacity for domestic production could be increased by as much as 50,000 units.
The 535-acre campus utilises over 590 generation-4 robots for the assembly, and has quality as well as testing capabilities, along with flexible engine plants that can cater to India as well as global markets, the company stated.
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