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Published on: July 27, 2021, 9:38 p.m.
Season of SUVs
  • With Alcazar, Hyundai now has a complete range of SUVs

By S.M. Boothem

The Indian car market has transformed over the years and the ‘sports utility vehicles’ (SUVs) played a major role in this transformation.  From sedans and hatchbacks, the favourite choices for Indian customers have now moved to SUVs. For a long time, Mahindra & Mahindra was a dominant player, with a majority market share in SUVs, with its rugged vehicles such as Bolero, Scorpio and 

XUV 500, until other players entered this space. Currently, almost all carmakers in India have a presence in this segment as SUVs contribute to good sales numbers. The carmakers offer different types of SUVs in the compact, mid-size, premium and luxury categories. The share of SUV sales in total passenger vehicles is more than 30 per cent. This is only going to grow, with new products like Skoda’s Kushaq, VW’s Taigun and Mahindra’s new XUV 700 making their appearance. Even the new player, Citreon is no exception in acknowledging customer choice and has introduced the first product, C5 Aircross SUV, recently in India.

In the compact segment, Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza is one of the bestsellers for the company. Even its other brand, the mid-size S-Cross, is selling in decent numbers. A leader in passenger vehicles (PVs), Maruti’s presence in SUVs is limited, compared with others. Nissan India was struggling to get a footing in the domestic market, till their new compact SUV, the Magnite opened the gates for the carmaker.

The Magnite was well-received by customers. Within a short period, the Magnite crossed bookings of more than 50,000. Many other automakers in India tasted success with the introduction of SUVs – among them Ford Ecosport, Renault Duster, Renault Kiger, Hyundai Venue, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Tata Harrier and MG Hector, to name a few.

Rising sales figures

Five years ago, the SUV trend in India contributed 13.5 per cent to the overall industry. In CY2020, it had gone up to 29 per cent; and in 2021 (from January to May), it has gone up to 35.2 per cent. The rising sales figures show how the preference of the Indian customer is leaning towards SUVs.

The new trend in the Indian automotive market is the six to seven-seater SUV. MG Hector Plus and Tata Safari are already available in the market. Also, Mahindra’s new XUV 700 is expected to be launched shortly. And, the latest one to join this elite club is Alcazar, the premium SUV from Hyundai. With Alcazar, Hyundai now has a complete range of SUVs – the other SUVs in the line-up being Venue, Creta, Tucson and Kona Electric. “This year, we have embarked on a new journey as we complete 25 years of excellence in India,” observed SS Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), commenting on the Alcazar.

“Hyundai has entered a new segment and we aim to redefine premium travel experiences for our customers across the country. Hyundai Alcazar is the personification of our customers’ aspirations, giving them the ability to travel together with family and friends for a happy life and quality time,” he added. 

  • What gives us absolute pleasure is that we have been able to rise to the customers’ benchmark in terms of experience, technology, creating new segments

With a starting price at Rs16.30 lakh, Alcazar is available in three variants (Prestige, Platinum and Signature) offering both six and seven-seater layouts with 60+ advanced Blue Link features. Customers can choose from six colour options. The Alcazar will offer customers good warranty options too – five years/50,000 km or four years/60,000 km or three years/unlimited km. Hyundai is also offering three years’ roadside assistance, Blue Link subscription and map updates free of cost to customers.

“What gives us absolute pleasure is that we have been able to rise to the customers’ benchmark in terms of experience, technology, creating new segments,” affirms Tarun Garg, director (sales, marketing & service), HMIL. 

“It is all about the customers, whether it is about the introduction of new technology or the new products, we are centred around strong market research and what the consumers want,” adds Garg, while talking about Hyundai’s success story.

HMIL made an investment of Rs650 crore for developing the Alcazar. With the positive response from customers, Hyundai received more than 5,000 bookings for all its variants. HMIL has cumulatively sold over one million SUVs in the domestic and export markets. The company also rolled out its 10th million vehicle recently, which happened to be the new Alcazar.

With the arrival of the Hyundai Alcazar, there is now intense competition in the premium SUV segment with the new Tata Safari, MG Hector Plus and the upcoming Mahindra XUV 700. How they will perform in the market remains to be seen. 

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