Hyundai India may soon start assembly of the Santa Fe sports utility vehicle (SUV) in India. The Santa Fe is currently imported as a CBU from Korea. The Santa Fe was launched only in major cities and is yet to be launched in Tier 2 cities like Goa.
The Santa Fe is currently undergoing homologation duties at the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
Hyundai has shipped a few body shells of the Santa Fe which are being subjected to structural stress tests at the facility. Such testing is usually done a few months before local assembly starts.
The reports quoted Arvind Saxena, Director, Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor India was quoted as saying “Starting CKD operations for the Santa Fe is part of our plan. Typically, we would wait for volumes to touch at least 150 units a month for it to make sense economically. At present, we are doing about 100 units a month.”
The local assembly will help Hyundai price the Santa Fe more competitively versus competition, such as the Toyota Fortuner (Rs 20.1 lakh in Delhi) and the Ford Endeavour (Rs 17-20 lakh). Currently, the Santa Fe is a bit more expensive at Rs 21-23 lakh, largely on account of high import duties of 60 per cent accorded to CBUs. In contrast, CKD kits attract a 10 per cent import duty.
Hyundai also plans to again start fresh orders from after June for a second batch of around 600-800 units. Hyundai’s target is to sell about 1,400 units of the Santa Fe in a year’s time.