Hyundai to up production by 20 pc; will hire 1,000 people

The company has already increased its output by about 25 per cent since July and its workforce by over 1,000 employees at its two plants in Chennai.

"We have started the third shift from July 10 at plant-I, for which we hired over 1,000 people. We will start the third shift at the plant-II from September 14 and induct another 1,000 people this month for this," Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) MD and CEO H S Lheem told reporters on the sidelines of inducting 100 students volunteer for traffic management here.

After increasing its output last month, the company is currently producing about 2,000 units per day and it will go up by 400 units more once the third shift at plant-II starts.

Lheem said the company's total workforce will cross the 12,000 mark after induction of new staff this month.

"We had very good sales in July. In domestic sales, we increased over 50 per cent and sold more than 23,000 units," he said, adding that the demand in export markets was growing.

The company has sold 45,543 units in July, of which 22,350 cars were handed over to overseas customers.

Besides, HMIL would also increase its headcount to 800 Indian staff from the existing 210 people at its R&D centre in Hyderabad.

On the export front, the country's largest car exporter asked the government to provide incentives to compete with other auto makers from different exporting nations.

"The Korean government has already announced the completion of a free trade agreement with all the members of the European Union. All the actual import duties of all smaller cars within 5 years and bigger cars within 3 years will be nullified in all the EU countries.

"We are asking the government to consider a free trade agreement with the EU or the government should provide the same amount of incentives, otherwise we will loose our competitiveness against Korean products," Lheem said.

The EU countries contribute over 55 per cent to HMIL's total export volume, he added.
"The Indian government provides us the focus market scheme, but major export markets of all the EU countries are missed in this scheme. The government should expand the scope of focus market scheme," Lheem said.

He said the company's decision to shift the production of i20 to a European country is also to save transportation costs and all the import duties imposed in the EU.

Asked about its proposed smaller car than Santro, Lheem said, "After shifting of the i20 volume, we can develop some additional volume for our smaller car than Santro. We will introduce the model by 2011, which will be produced exclusively from Chennai facility. It will be marketed in other countries also."

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