New Exter becomes Hyundai’s third best-selling SUV eight months after launch

New models, particularly in India’s booming SUV market, are helping accelerate the growth trajectory for most OEMs and Hyundai Motor India has seen this with its Exter compact SUV. Launched on July 10, 2023, at an aggressive pricing of Rs 599,000, the Hyundai Exter has till end-February 2024 registered cumulative wholesales of 62,826 units. This makes for average monthly sales of 7,853 units.

The sustained demand for the Exter means that the compact SUV has, in just eight months, become Hyundai Motor India’s third best-selling SUV in the current fiscal after the market-leading Creta midsize SUV (146,315 units) and the Venue compact SUV (119,281 units).

With 62,826 units, the Exter has contributed 18% to Hyundai’s cumulative utility vehicles sales of 352,512 units, up 28% YoY. In the process, it has helped the share of UVs in Hyundai’s passenger vehicle sales increase to 63% from 53% a year ago.

Hyundai has ramped up production for the Exter, given the strong demand – the company is understood to have received over 100,000 bookings, which is creditable given that this new model is part of an ultra-competitive sub-segment. In fact, of the Top 20 UVs in India in FY2024 (till end-February 2024), the Exter is already ranked 15th, and is among the 10 compact SUVs. The entry-SUV category within the sub-four-metre-SUV segment is witnessing strong demand and the Exter’s pricing strategy has paid off. It is estimated that between 20,000-22,000 entry SUVs are sold each month and Hyundai aims to tap the potential here.

Boxy looking, feature-laden SUV
The Exter follows Hyundai’s ‘Parametric’ design language that employs boxy proportions and an upright stance. At the front, the mini-SUV gets a split-headlamp setup with integrated ‘H’-shaped LED DRLs. The front fascia gets a wide, contrasting black grille, and a prominent chin with a faux silver skid plate. The side profile is characterised by flared wheel arches, diamond-cut alloy wheels, clean lines, and all-around body cladding that lends a robust look.

The Exter gets LED tail-lights at the rear, a shark-fin antennae, roof rails as well as a single-pane sunroof – a first-in-segment feature. On the inside, the car gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with over 60 connected car features under Hyundai’s Bluelink connectivity suite, as well as OTA updates. Hyundai also offers a factory-fitted dual-monitoring dashboard camera, as well as cruise control on the Exter.

The Exter is offered in five trim levels, all with six airbags and electronic stability control (ESC) – the two key requirements to score a four- or five-star rating in GNCAP’s latest crash protocol – as standard safety kit. The Exter comes powered by a sole 1.2-litre, 82hp, four-cylinder, naturally-aspirational petrol engine, coupled with 5-speed MT or AMT options.

While Hyundai is claiming a fuel economy rating of 19.4kpl for the manual and 19.2kpl for the automatic, the factory-fitted CNG option offers a much superior fuel economy of 27.10kpl in comparison. According to the company, almost 38% of Exter’s initial bookings are for the AMT variants, while 20% for the factory-fitted CNG trims.

Hyundai drives towards 600,000 PV milestone for the first time in a fiscal
Riding on the strong demand coming its way, courtesy the booming SUV market, Hyundai Motor India is well set to clock another fiscal of record growth. The company, which had clocked best-ever fiscal year sales of 567,546 units in FY2023 is, at the end of February 2024, poised to drive past that number soon.

Between April 2023 and February 2024, the car and SUV manufacturer has dispatched a total of 561,723 units, up 9% on the year-ago period’s 516,946 units. At present, it is just 5,823 units shy of the record FY2023 total. This is the second fiscal on the trot that Hyundai has surpassed the half-a-million milestone and should hit the 600,000 wholesales milestone in the domestic market for the first time in FY2024. And the recently launched Exter SUV has lent a helping wheel towards that big number.

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