The Turkish facility of Hyundai at Izmit will be the key export hub to European markets for the new i20
Hyundai Motor Company has had a string of launches already this year, not just in India but all around the world. Even though much of its launch schedule has been eaten up by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the company is still moving ahead with its future developmental programs.
The most significant of these programs has been the newly revamped manufacturing facility at Izmit in Turkey which has already kickstarted the production of next generation i20. The facility holds the key for the South Korean automaker’s expansion in Europe since the majority of its units produced are expected to be exported to the various European markets.
The facility is expected to produce around 85,000 units of the new i20 which accounts for 50 percent of the total global production. According to Turkey’s technology and industry minister, Mustafa Varank, this facility will be utilised mainly for the export of i20. Majority of the i20 produced at this facility, will be exported t Europe.
While speaking at the opening ceremony of the assembly line, he further added that the new assembly line of the new-gen i20 is a result of 27 months of hard work and a $194 million investment (Rs 1,425 crores). The localization ratio of the new premium hatchback is said to be over 60 percent at this refurbished facility, while this number is also expected to increase further in time.
The production facility has a manufacturing capacity of around 240,000 vehicles per year and is spread over an area of 1 million square meters (around 10 million square feet). The factory produces A and B segment hatchbacks like i10 and i20 respectively. The facility produces export volume worth $1.7 billion annually, which places Hyundai Assan among Turkey’s top five exporters.
The facility is jointly owned and managed by Hyundai Motor Company and the Turkish Kibar Group with each possessing 70 percent and 30 percent stakes respectively. The partnership is registered as Hyundai Assan which retails Hyundai cars in Turkey. The cars from this facility are exported to over forty countries which include Italy, UK and Germany.
Hyundai Assan CEO Ickkyun Oh confirmed that the Izmit factory will be aiming to increase production to at least 100,000 units of the premium hatchback in the near future. Apart from Hyundai’s revamped production facility, Varank further added that Turkey also aims to be a battery production hub with its investments in battery modules, packages and cells.
As far as India is concerned, Hyundai is gearing up for the launch of its next-generation i20 which is expected to be launched later this year. The premium hatchback has been in development for a long time now and has been spotted testing on Indian roads on numerous occasions.
Indian i20 will be produced at company’s Chennai plant, and is expected to have even higher production rate of i20 as compared to Turkey plant. i20 is one of the best selling cars in India. Post launch, Hyundai could be aiming to sell about 10,000 units per month in the domestic market. While they will also produce i20 for exports to many countries in South East Asia, Africa and South America.
Upon its launch in India, 2020 i20 will lock horns with other premium hatchbacks such as Tata Altroz, Maruit Suzuki Baleno, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo.