Hyundai to Shift I20 Production to Europe

Hyundai Motors India Ltd (HMIL) was planning to shift the production of its premium hatchback i20 for the export market from Chennai to Europe, following recent labour troubles that caused overseas sales to fall behind target. If the move materialises, it will mark a major change in HMILs original strategy of making India an export hub for its small cars.

We will address the European market from a local plant there, confirmed an HMIL spokesperson. Hyundai has a plant in the Czech Republic and another is coming up in Russia. The i20 for the domestic market will continue to be manufactured in India.

The i20 is expected to account for 40 per cent of the Korean companys exports for 2009-10. The company had earmarked 80 per cent or 120,000 units a year of the 150,000 i20s produced in India for the European market. Last financial year, the car maker exported 253,354 units (of all cars, including the i20) from India, about half its annual production.

The strike saw production drop 5 per cent and senior executives said the company met only 85 per cent of its export target. (SIAM)


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