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Hyundai India aims to double car sales overseas

From thepeninsulaqatar| March 29,2007

Hyundai Motor's Indian unit plans to more than double overseas sales of cars by 2008 to cement its place as the country's biggest automobile exporter, the company said yesterday.

The South Korean automaker, which exported 113,000 made-in-India Accent and Santro cars last year, expects to ship 300,000 units by the end of 2008, it said after sending the first consignment of its Getz model to Europe.

Hyundai Motor India began exports in 1999 when it sold 20 Santro cars in neighbouring Nepal. Since then it has become India second biggest car maker behind the local venture of Japan's Suzuki and the largest exporter.

Hyundai's Indian-built automobiles are now exported to 67 countries spread over Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

"Given Hyundai Motor Company's global strategy to make India an export hub for small cars, we are shipping the first consignment for export of the new Getz to Europe," said H S Lheem, managing director of the unit, in a statement received here. "For the Indian operations, this is a major milestone."

The company plans to ship 40,000 Getz cars overseas in the next year, boosting the number to 100,000 units by 2008.

Since it was introduced in 2002, the Getz has sold more than 500,000 in Europe, accounting for close to 70 percent of its total sales worldwide.

Hyundai Motor India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor, marketing 16 variants of passenger cars in this country of 1.1 billion people.

The company logged total sales of 299,513 vehicles in 2006, up 18.5 per cent. In the domestic market it clocked growth of 19.1 percent, with 186,174 units, while overseas sales grew 17.4 per cent to 113,339 units.

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