After years of manufacturing cars in India, Korean auto giant Hyundai has finally decided to take the leap. The carmaker has now decided to enter the three-row SUV segment that was once ruled by the like of Toyota Innova, and now by Maruti's Ertiga. With a few more carmakers lining up to join the bandwagon, Hyundai made the first move and came up with the Alcazar SUV on Thursday.
Though there is still some time before even the journalists can see the car in flesh, without any camouflage, Hyundai promises to shake up the segment with a car that is seen as an extended 6- or 7-seater model of the Creta SUV. The Creta has been the biggest success story for the Korean carmaker in India for the past one year. Hyundai India feels it is the right time to consolidate its position as one of the top carmakers by introducing Alcazar - its first three-row SUV in the country.
"The Indian market used to be a dominant hatchback market in the past. It still remains strong but the SUV segment is growing much faster and we expect this segment to even grow further. We (Hyundai) have already experienced such situations in other global markets like Europe and the US," Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) MD and CEO SS Kim was quoted by news agency PTI.
Tarun Garg, Director (Sales and Marketing) at Hyundai India, was quoted saying, "We believe this is the right time for the company to enter the segment. We achieved number one spot in SUV sales last year. The SUV segment is becoming larger and larger and it is the right time for us to really raise the benchmark and enter a segment which we believe the customers are looking forward to."
Hyundai Alcazar SUV, which will be launched later this year, will be offered in two engine options. There will be a 2-litre petrol engine that is capable of churning out 159 Ps of power and has 191 Nm of peak torque, and a 1.5-litre diesel engine that can produce 115 Ps of power and peak torque of 250 Nm. Both the engines will be mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
(With inputs from agencies)