South Korea’s Hyundai, the world’s fifth largest automaker when taken together with affiliate Kia Motors, will start exporting its India-produced Creta sport utility vehicle to markets in Asia and beyond.
The carmaker, which has had a rather sedan-centric line-up, is aiming to cash in on the flourishing demand for crossovers and sport utility vehicles and also lift global deliveries, according to a main executive. Byungkwon Rhim, senior vice president at Hyundai’s international sales division, said the first SUV launched in India would be exported to markets such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa this year. “Our global sales network and channel partners are strongly demanding for Creta launching in their countries. This will create new additional sales globally,” commented Rhim. Hyundai and affiliate Kia have forecasted global deliveries of 8.2 million vehicles in 2015, surging 2.5 percent from the figure posted last year, also the lowest increase since 2003. The SUV boom, which has been supported by lower priced gasoline in various regions, has been tapped consistently by competing automakers – but Hyundai has been held back by production constraints and the lack of new models in the segment – an issue it is hard at work to settle quickly.
In order to fulfill growing demand including for the brand’s sport utility vehicles, Hyundai has announced it was mulling an increased production output capacity in the United States and started construction of its fifth factory in China, the world’s largest auto market and a primary SUV growth region.