How Hyundai Took a Tour of India on SUVs


Nearly three decades after it entered the Indian market, Hyundai Motor India has filed documents with the capital market regulator to offer its shares to the public for the first time. At ₹25,000 crore, its initial public offering (IPO) is slated to be the largest IPO ever to hit the Indian markets. The core investment premise is the fundamental shift that has occurred in the Indian passenger vehicle market and Hyundai’s significant place within it. By revenue, Hyundai Motor is the third-largest passenger vehicle company in India, following Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra, with revenues of ₹160,310 crore in 2022-23 and ₹152,158 crore for the nine-month period ending December 2023.

Early Establishment

Hyundai entered the Indian automotive market in 1996 with the launch of its Santro hatchback. This period saw a relatively small car market dominated by a few key players. The Santro’s success was crucial in establishing Hyundai as a credible player in India, thanks to its affordable pricing, innovative design, and strong after-sales service network.

The Rise of SUVs

Over the years, Hyundai has adeptly navigated shifts in consumer preferences. One of the most significant changes in the Indian automotive market has been the surge in popularity of sports utility vehicles (SUVs). Indian consumers have increasingly favored SUVs for their robust build, higher seating position, and perceived safety. Hyundai recognized this trend early and capitalized on it by launching a series of successful SUV models.

Creta: The Game Changer

The launch of the Hyundai Creta in 2015 was a watershed moment for the company. The Creta quickly became a bestseller, setting new benchmarks in the mid-size SUV segment. Its blend of stylish design, advanced features, and strong performance struck a chord with Indian consumers. The success of the Creta solidified Hyundai’s reputation as a leading SUV manufacturer in India.

The Creta’s dominance was not a fluke. Hyundai invested heavily in understanding the Indian market, tailoring the Creta to meet local preferences and requirements. The vehicle was designed to offer a premium feel at a competitive price, catering to the aspirations of a burgeoning middle class.

Expanding the SUV Portfolio

Following the success of the Creta, Hyundai continued to expand its SUV portfolio. The introduction of models like the Venue, Tucson, and the more recent Alcazar further strengthened Hyundai’s position in the SUV segment. Each of these models targeted different sub-segments within the SUV market, offering a range of options from compact to premium SUVs.

The Venue, launched in 2019, tapped into the growing compact SUV segment. With its contemporary design, connected car technology, and efficient engines, the Venue became an instant hit among urban buyers. The Tucson, positioned as a premium offering, catered to consumers looking for a more luxurious SUV experience. The Alcazar, introduced in 2021, provided a three-row seating option, appealing to larger families and those seeking more space.

Innovation and Technology: The Hyundai Advantage

A key factor in Hyundai’s success in the Indian SUV market has been its focus on innovation and technology. Hyundai has consistently introduced cutting-edge features in its vehicles, often setting industry benchmarks. From advanced safety features to connected car technology, Hyundai’s SUVs are packed with features that appeal to tech-savvy consumers.

The company’s emphasis on quality and reliability has also played a crucial role. Hyundai’s vehicles are known for their durability and low maintenance costs, which are significant considerations for Indian buyers. Additionally, Hyundai’s extensive service network ensures that customers have easy access to after-sales support, further enhancing the ownership experience.

Electric Future: Hyundai’s Vision for India

Looking ahead, Hyundai is also positioning itself as a key player in the electric vehicle (EV) segment. With the Indian government pushing for a transition to electric mobility, Hyundai is investing in developing EVs tailored for the Indian market. The Kona Electric, launched in 2019, was Hyundai’s first foray into the Indian EV market. Although still a niche segment, the Kona Electric showcased Hyundai’s commitment to sustainable mobility.

Hyundai’s upcoming EV plans include the introduction of more affordable electric models, aimed at making electric mobility accessible to a broader audience. By leveraging its global expertise in EV technology and understanding local market dynamics, Hyundai aims to be a frontrunner in the Indian EV market.

The IPO and Future Prospects

Hyundai’s decision to go public comes at a time when the Indian automotive market is poised for significant growth. The ₹25,000 crore IPO will not only be the largest in Indian market history but also underscores Hyundai’s confidence in its future prospects. The funds raised through the IPO are expected to be used for expanding production capacity, investing in new technologies, and further strengthening Hyundai’s market presence.

Hyundai’s impressive revenue figures highlight its robust financial health. In 2022-23, Hyundai Motor India reported revenues of ₹160,310 crore, making it the third-largest passenger vehicle company in the country. For the nine-month period ending December 2023, the company reported revenues of ₹152,158 crore, indicating strong performance and growth momentum.

Hyundai’s Journey and Impact

Hyundai’s journey in India is a remarkable story of strategic vision, adaptability, and relentless focus on quality and innovation. From its humble beginnings with the Santro to becoming a dominant force in the SUV segment, Hyundai has consistently evolved to meet changing market dynamics.

The company’s success in the SUV market is a testament to its ability to anticipate and respond to consumer preferences. By offering a range of SUV models that cater to different segments and price points, Hyundai has captured a significant share of the market. The focus on innovation, technology, and quality has set Hyundai apart from its competitors, making it a preferred choice for Indian consumers.

As Hyundai prepares for its landmark IPO, the company is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth opportunities in the Indian automotive market. With its strong financial performance, diverse product portfolio, and commitment to innovation, Hyundai is poised to continue its journey of success in India, driving towards a future of sustainable mobility and technological excellence.


Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities represented and we recommend referring to more recent and reliable sources for up-to-date information.