Hyundai has been testing the Sonata/i45 in India for quite some time now. The next generation of the premium sedan was spotted many times in and around Chennai, where Hyundai has its manufacturing facility. Now the company plans to locally manufacture both the Santa Fe and Sonata in India, in a bid to save on import duties and price the cars more competitively. The devaluation of the Indian Rupee has led to sharp rise in prices of importing these vehicles and this move could spell doom for the competition. The next generation Sonata is an absolute stunner and has created raves globally.
“We have already started complete manufacturing of the Santa Fe in India from August this year. As a result, we have been averaging 225-250 units of the Santa Fe every month. This will be the company’s focus area in the future, too. We will launch the new Sonata in 2012 because we want to remain as a full line-up manufacturer. We would like to maintain that spread. If we want to sell the new Sonata, we will have to produce it locally to bring down its cost. As a result, we will be doing the complete manufacturing here in India,” Arvind Saxena, director (marketing and sales), Hyundai India, said.
We expect the 2012 Santa Fe to be completely build in India. The Santa Fe facelift will get the Fluidic styling and should be more competitively price in order to compete with cars like the Toyota Fortuner and 2012 Honda CR-V. The 2012 Sonata will be priced around Rs. 18 lakhs and will compete with the Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Passat and Honda Accord. The new Sonata will be showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo and will be available with a diesel engine at launch. An automatic variant is expected too.