Interview with J H Lee, ED, Production, Hyundai Motor India

By Team autoX | on December 20, 2019

Y J Ahn, ED, Corporate Affairs & J H Lee, ED, Production, Hyundai Motor India, accept the award for the Venue & Kona EV.  

The Hyundai factory outside Chennai is famous for running at almost 100% capacity at all times. How are things going at the production end at the moment – at a time when your competitors are reducing production?

The market situation is difficult, so we do have to ensure that we plan in order to adapt our production volume and speed to match demand – but, on the whole, we are still doing well. 

Even in a market that’s difficult, you continue to gain market share – especially with models like the Venue. So, is it a case of your competitors not providing good enough products? How come you’re still able to gain market share, even in a challenging market such as this?

We’ve been fortunate to have some very important launches this year. Obviously, we’ve launched the Venue and Kona electric, but also the Grand i10 Nios – and all of these are very important launches for us, and they have ensured that we continue to gain momentum. 

What kind of market feedback have you got on the Kona Electric?

Well, the volume is very small right now – just 500 cars per year. And, as you know, the price is very high. But we were keen to become the first manufacturer to launch a world-class electric vehicle in the country. We want to be leaders in the electric vehicle space in the country, and help develop this culture in India.  

Based on your experience with the Kona, do you think that there’s more scope for electric vehicles in India – is there a bigger market?

As you know, this technology is very expensive, but if the government supports us and reduces taxes then there’s a much better chance of widespread adoption of this technology. But, without the support of the government, it will remain very niche. 

Do you see incentives coming in for electric cars?

Yes, I think so, because it’s important for the environment.

Looking ahead towards next year, do you see market sentiment improving?

I don’t think that we should look at a drastic change in one or two years, I think a more realistic timeframe is three to five years. 

Kia, your sister company is in India, and they’re doing quite well with the Seltos. Are you feeling any pressure from them?

Yes, sure, but we will grow together, and we will support each other. But, of course, we enjoy healthy competition as well. They are doing well, but we are better than them – so we will support them. 

Any chance of getting any ‘N’ high-performance products into India?

The R&D teams feels that the market isn’t ready as yet, but perhaps later. However, if customers demand such products, we will be ready quite quickly.  

Hyundai Kona EV Venue Best Of 2019 Winner Interview

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Tags: Kona Electric Venue Kona EV

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