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Hyundai developing Rs1.5 lakh car to take on Nano news
30 May 2008

South Korean  automaker Hyundai Motor Co plans to launch a small car in India by 2011or 2012, HS Lheem, managing director of the company's India operations, said.

He said the company is developing a car, tentatively priced at around Rs1.5 lakh, aimed at customers in China and India, where competition is expected to hot up when Tata Motors starts selling its Rs1-lakh Nano, later this year.

"We don't have any immediate plan to fight the Nano," Lheem said on the sidelines of a traffic seminar.

Hyundai, the No 2 carmaker in India after Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said it is currently pursuing research and development work for the small car at its facilities at Hyderabad and Chennai as also in Korea.

A Bajaj Auto joint venture with France's Renault and Japanese auto major Nissan, where the Indian company holds 50 per cent stake, is also planning to make a similarly-priced car from 2011.

Hyundai's current cheapest offering in India, the Santro, starts at around Rs2.7 lakh. Lheem said there was demand for a smaller model than the Santro, adding the small car would be launched in other countries also.

The company exported over 100,000 cars from India last year and expects to double this to more than 200,000 in 2008, he said.

Hyundai Motor, meanwhile, signed a technical assistance agreement with UK-based Caparo Group to make luxury buses in India.

Lheem said mass-production was expected to start in the "early part of next year", but declined to give details.


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Hyundai developing Rs1.5 lakh car to take on Nano