In world of SUVs, here's why Hyundai chose i20 to be 1st N Line model for India
Hyundai i20 N Line was showcased for the first time ever in India on Tuesday and an official launch is scheduled for early September. Hyundai is planning to drive in several of its N Line models to the country in the times to come but for now, is betting big on i20 N Line to appeal to a younger audience looking for a sportier drive experience. While there are SUV options in its N Line range globally, the company feels it is the hatchback that could well set the proverbial ball rolling here.
Speaking to HT Auto on the sidelines of the unveiling of i20 N Line, Hyundai Motor India's Tarun Garg explained why it is this particular model that is the first of many. “Globally there are 11 models in the N Line range in 40 countries, and we have sold close to hundred thousand vehicles," he said. “So, I would say we wanted to introduce N Line range here. But i20 probably becomes natural choice. As you know, in terms of WRC (World Rally Championship), i20 was the car being used. So, it has a very strong heritage of WRC."
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Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing and Service) at HMIL), further elaborated that more N Line models are inbound for India in the times to come. “Going forward, we will be exploring other options and then deciding when and which model to launch in the N Line range. But for sure, more cars are going to join the bandwagon as far as the N Line range is concerned."
And there appears to be good reason to establish and populate the N Line range in Hyundai India's product portfolio. Company officials say that there is demand among a younger audience for vehicles which would stand out when being driven. “Our market research suggests that there is a whole lot of customers who are millennial, Gen Z, who are looking for sportiness, fun, and who are looking for active engagements every day," said Garg. “So, we believe that with the kind of design changes that we have made whether in the exterior, the grille, wheels, steering, the gear knob, turbo engine which brings in that kind of power, we believe customers are really going to love this N Line range of cars and we are going to create a new segment."
But is there a chance that the i20 N Line could sway people away from the 'conventional' i20? Hyundai feels the target customer base for the two models is different and that the i20 N Line will establish itself as a strong product for those who are interested in the N Line range. “Frankly speaking, I don’t see that this car is going to be a volume driver. We as a OEM has a responsibility towards those niche segment of customers who are looking at Hyundai to launch the N Line range because of the kind of excitement it has generated in the market," explained Garg.