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Hyundai Motor targets Africa, Brazil markets

Publication Date : 24-09-2012


Hyundai Motor is expanding its presence in Africa and Brazil -- two of the several automobile markets with mammoth growth potential -- by diversifying export models.

While the largest carmaker in Korea is making the most of its manufacturing factory in India for its vehicle exports to African nations, it launched regular operation of its Brazilian factory over the weekend.

Hyundai Motor has been closely competing with Toyota Motor to become No. 1 in automobile sales in Africa, posting a monthly sales growth rate of about 50 per cent on average.

Hyundai is holding the second position with about 12 per cent share of the African market while Toyota captured 14.7 per cent of the market.

Under its aggressive marketing over the past few years, Hyundai has surpassed Toyota in five major countries -- Algeria, Angola, Morocco, Egypt and the Republic of South Africa.

As sales in the five nations account for more than 80 per cent of all automobile sales on the continent, the competition between the two Asian automakers is likely to get fiercer.

Its Indian unit began producing vehicles in 1998 with an annual production capacity of 300,000 units.

Hyundai Motor India has recorded a year-on-year increase for the 12th consecutive year aided by the subcompact i10, which took the title of India’s bestselling model in 2009 and 2010.

Further, Hyundai Motor India was also the subcontinent’s largest exporter of automobiles, having shipped more than 247,000 vehicles to 120 countries.

The Indian plant has produced the Santro (a localised model of the “Atoz”), i10, i20 and other compact cars which are being exported to 110 countries including Africa, Europe and South America.

In March, Hyundai’s Avante, dubbed the Elantra in Africa, won the Car of the Year prize in the 2012 annual competition of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.

The medium luxury sedan was named the SAGMJ and WesBank’s choice of the year. This year is the first a Korean model has won the prize.

“We are extremely proud of the recognition that a world-class product such as the Hyundai Elantra has received from the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists,” said Alan Ross, managing director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa, after receiving the Car of the Year trophy.

The success follows a series of other achievements Avante enjoyed during the year, including winning the North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Motor Show and an overall prize in the Canadian Car of the Year competition.

“This award, and the fact that we had no less than two finalists in the previous competition, is confirmation of the giant strides that the Hyundai brand has made locally and globally,” Ross said.

He said it is also recognition of the quality and emotional appeal that the Hyundai products have developed as part of the brand’s “modern premium” strategy.

Meanwhile, for strategic logistics base in Central and South America, Hyundai said its manufacturing plant in Brazil went into operation last Friday.

The company is targeting 10 per cent of Brazilian car sales with annual production of 150,000 vehicles at its new plant in Piracicaba in Sao Paulo state.

“In 2010, without a factory here, we reached a market share of 3 per cent. With local production, the figure is projected to reach 10 per cent, possibly overtaking Ford Motor,” a company spokesman said.

Hyundai has released a new model dubbed the HB20 -- which stands for Hyundai Brazil -- with which it will enter the biggest and most competitive segment in the country’s car market.

The HB20 was not only designed for Brazil but it will also be the first model to be produced at Hyundai’s fully-owned new plant in the Piracicaba region.

While production of the sub-compact hatch began on September 21, sales will start nest month.

Company executive said the release of HB20 means a lot more than simply presenting a new model for Hyundai.

“Unlike our other models currently offered in Brazil, HB20 is the first model strategically developed and produced exclusively for the Brazilian market,” he said.

The five-door hatchback is related to the European market i20 featuring a revised exterior styling and a different interior.

Hyundai says it has adapted the HB20 to the needs of buyers in Brazil.

The executive said the new model is optimised to the taste of Brazilian consumers and the driving conditions in Brazil, with years of dedication from our engineers.

“I guarantee with pride that HB20 will change the perception of Brazilian customers in the small car segment.”

Hyundai’s flex-fuel car comes with three available powertrains, including 1.0-litre (80hp) and 1.6-litre (128hp) engines linked to a five-speed manual gearbox and a 1.6-litre unit with an automatic transmission turning the front wheels.


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