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Hyundai city car gains popularity in India

Hyundai Motor’s Eon is gaining popularity in India, becoming one of the five best-selling cars in the emerging market.

The automaker saw sales of the Eon, a hatchback city car, surpass 10,000 units last month for the first time since its launch in India last September.

With 10,480 units, the Eon ranked fifth in sales. The top four best-selling models were Maruti Suzuki’s Alto, Swift, Dzire and Wagon R.
Hyundai Motor’s Eon (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor’s Eon (Hyundai Motor)

Hyundai’s Eon features an 800cc engine, and was launched in the local market in October, with sales hitting 7,418 units in November.

The sporty-looking hatchback equipped with a five-speed manual transmission can generate 56 horsepower and 7.66 kilogram-meters of torque.

The Eon was named the micro-mini car of 2011 by the Overdrive automotive review program aired on CNBC-TV18.

Hyundai Motor is the second-biggest carmaker in India with about 19 percent market share where more than 70 percent of vehicles sold are compact cars.

The company is aiming to increase its market share to 20 percent this year as it launches the new version of the mid-sized sedans Sonata and Avante, dubbed the Elantra in India.

Before Hyundai, Maruti was the only small-car marker in the scene. Then came Tata Motors and others, each trying to elbow into the crowded market.

Ford Motor, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan and General Motors joined the rush to introduce small cars in the last decade even as Maruti and Hyundai continued to strengthen their line up.

But the landscape is changing. The leading three ― Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors ― lost market share last year to Ford India and Volkswagen, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)
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