Hyundai Motor India on Tuesday launched a sub-4 metre sports utility vehicle, Venue, which will be in direct competition with Maruti Suzuki s Vitara Brezza, Mahindra s XUV300 and Tata Nexon. Dubbed India s first connected car, the Venue falls in a segment where the industry s monthly sales are around 35,000 units.
While the average monthly sales of Maruti s Vitara Brezza is around 14,000 units, Hyundai s Creta, which is slightly higher priced, sells nearly 10,000. Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and the Ford Ecosport make up for the remaining chunk in the category.
Price-wise, Hyundai has placed the product closest to Maruti s Brezza. The starting price of the diesel variant of Venue is Rs 7.75 lakh, against Rs 7.70 lakh of Brezza. However, experts feel Hyundai will have an edge over Maruti as Venue is powered with a 1.4-litre diesel engine, while Maruti s Brezza has a 1.3-litre engine. Further, Brezza is available only with diesel engine but Hyundai Venue has petrol options and that, too, with two choices a 1.2-litre Kappa engine and a 1-litre turbo engine.
The petrol variant is available with a starting price of Rs 6.5 lakh and goes up to Rs 11 lakh. The top diesel trim comes with a price tag of Rs 10.84 lakh. The utility vehicle segment has seen a sharp increase in demand in the last five years and as a result, the contribution of this segment for car makers has phenomenally increased, also leading to a rise in their average selling prices (ASP).
Analysts believe multiple options, better features, elegant styling and enhanced safety quotient are driving the change in consumer preference to utility vehicles. Even as car sales have been declining since July 2018, the demand for utility vehicles during most months has been better than hatchbacks and sedans.
Hyundai Motor India MD & CEO SS Kim said while Indian consumers are price-sensitive when it comes to purchasing cars, the company wants to cash in on the shifting consumer preference towards utility vehicles. Equipped with many first and best in segment connectivity features, Venue will become a personal sanctuary for customers, he said.
Hyundai Venue, which was built with an investment of $100 million (over Rs 690 crore), is the first connected car with features like geo-fencing, speed alerts, SOS, panic notifications, destination sharing and road-side assistance. The company s BlueLink technology comes with 33 artificial intelligence and connected features, of which 10 have been specially designed for the Indian market.Besides, all the cars from Hyundai Motor India will soon come with connected features. Hyundai Motor India national sales head Vikas Jain said the firm has plans to extend the connected features to other cars.