Hyundai’s Punch rival coming 2023 festive season

Hyundai Casper entry-SUV used for representation.

Hyundai is in the final stages of readying an all-new entry-SUV for India. This new SUV will sit below the Venue compact SUV in our market and is expected to go on sale next year during the festive season.

  • Hyundai entry-SUV to be based on Grand i10 Nios platform
  • To come with a 1.2-litre petrol engine; might get CNG in the future
  • Will rival Punch, C3, Kiger and Magnite

New Hyundai entry-SUV: what exactly is it?

This new model, codenamed: Hyundai Ai3 CUV will be the brand’s take on the likes of entry-level compact SUV contenders like the Tata Punch, the Renault Kiger and the Nissan Magnite. This entry-SUV has been a part of numerous studies since 2016-17, mooted under its erstwhile MD Y K Koo. The project was finally given a go ahead just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new entry-SUV is being positioned as a Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV) and will be slightly bigger than the Casper, which is on sale in some international markets. It will use the same platform that underpins the Grand i10 Nios and the Aura compact sedan.

New Hyundai entry-SUV: powertrain options, positioning

The company may restructure its variant mix for the Grand i10 at the bottom of the range and the Venue SUV at the top to create space for the sub-compact SUV. The Ai3 CUV is likely to share the same 1.2-litre petrol powertrain as the Grand i10 and Aura, but the decision on a CNG variant is yet to be taken.

The Ai3 will be sit below the Venue in Hyundai’s line-up and will be the company’s entry level SUV. There is no word on its price yet, but it's likely that it will be pitted against the Punch, which is the bestselling product in this sub-segment of compact SUVs.

According to several people in the know, the company has planned for an annual production of 50,000 units for this model, and to make way for it, Hyundai Motor India had also invested close to Rs 1,470 crore to expand its plant capacity from 7.7 lakh to 8.5 lakh units in the last financial year.

As many first time car buyers are veering towards SUVs from a hatchback, in a short span of 18-24 months, about 20000 entry SUVs are sold in a month between Punch, Kiger, Magnite and C3. it already accounts for 10% of the growing utility vehicle segment in the country. 

The production plan of Hyundai appears rather modest and indicates how the South Korean car maker is more keen on focusing on profitability over market share.

An email sent to Hyundai Motor India seeking official comment did not elicit any response.

Also See:

Hyundai i20 diesel to be killed off by new 2023 emissions regulations

Future Hyundai models to get performance, safety boosts via software updates

from Autocar India
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