Sports Utility Vehicles once used to be a luxury in India. But with the country’s increasing affinity towards higher seating positions and the rising affordability of bigger cars in the subcontinent, these machines can be spotted on the roads more often than ever before. And after launching its new SUV – the Tucson – recently, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) is planning to reportedly infiltrate into the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza territory in the near future.
“We aim to launch an entry level SUV in the first half of 2019. It will be below Creta. So, we will have four SUVs in our product range,” HMIL MD and CEO, YK Koo told reporters in Delhi on the sidelines of the Tucson launch earlier this week. This will be the fourth addition to the Korean carmaker’s SUV portfolio in India, alongside the Creta, the Tucson and the Santa Fe; in ascending order.
The new sub-4 metre SUV is expected to be based on the Carlino HND-14 concept that Hyundai had showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi earlier this year. Design cues could be derived from the likes of the i30 hatchback and the Creta, along with the part-sharing from existing SUVs in India. Under the hood, the new compact SUV could feature the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine that can churn out around 120PS of power.
Coming back to competition, the forthcoming Hyundai’s biggest rival in this space would be the Vitara Brezza, as mentioned earlier. The latter has been selling around 8,000 units every month since its launch in April.
Despite the Creta driving similar sales numbers, Hyundai feels that there is scope for further inroads with a smaller SUV, in the Rs 5-8 lakh price bracket. The car would also have to tackle the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Mahindra TUV300 in this segment.