Q] What was the idea behind forging an association with players of India Women’s National Cricket team?
Cricket is a passion in India — a sport that unites our country and Hyundai has already been associated with BCCI for all domestic and international cricket matches, whether it is T20, ODIs or test matches. We feel that there are so many sportswomen around us who are doing so well, we have seen that in the last Olympics, too. We believe that now’s the time to associate with some of the bright players in the Indian cricket team and women players so that they become an inspiration for women who want to do well for their country. And so we have signed contracts with Smriti Mandhana, Taniya Bhatia, Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues. They will be our brand ambassadors for the next one year. And, as you know, calendar year 2022 is very important for women’s cricket, as there’s going to be ODI, T20, as well as the Commonwealth Games. So, I think, this will be a very meaningful association. And Hyundai, as you know, is going beyond mobility. Sustainability is a key factor. We believe that the collaboration will become a source of inspiration for women who are achieving and those who want to achieve their goals in future.
Q] You undertake many on ground activations. How much of the total spend goes into your on-ground activations, and how much into digital?
It is difficult to say in exact number how much is allotted for on-ground activation, but, I would say, we want to take up activities through which we can have more engagement with customers. We do not want to do ATL just for the heck of it. So, you would see more such associations happening. For example, our Creators Arena managed to generate great excitement among so many of our customers and so also the association with four women cricketers. Going forward, you will see more on-ground activations taking place. The idea is to connect with Indian customers, millennials and Gen Z, who are our customers. I would say the percentage of women as buyers, users, even as influencers is only increasing. We now are the Number One SUV-maker and SUVs are becoming the preferred body type for so many of our customers. As a percentage, our digital spend is now probably more than 1/3 of our total spend. This number used to be only about 10%-15% two to three years ago. So a big change has happened in this respect. And, of course, we continue to be very strong in other modes of communication as well.
Q] How much do you rely on consumer insights when it comes to capturing a market share?
Everything for Hyundai starts with customers, and understanding consumer insights is an ongoing process. We do market surveys, researches, and buy loads of data, which is available as a primary search form. All this data is then processed and used in decision-making. In fact, even with our launches, right from the time we launched the Tall Boy Santro, MPFI engine, i20, or Creta in 2015 — all were backed by consumer insights. We agree that customer trends have to be really seen in advance.
Q] Would you like to pitch EVs against SUVs?
Majority of the six battery electric vehicles (EVs) we’re going to launch will be SUVs, CUVs because these are preferred the most. Of course, we’ll have Sedans as well. And we’ll keep on looking at the market feedback.
Like I mentioned, Electric Global Modular Platform, the Hyundai Motor Global platform for battery EVs, will have many advantages. It is flexible and scalable. It is easy to have different body types on that platform. We will continue to gather market feedback and market insights to decide which body type we want to have. But, as of now, we feel SUVs, CUVs are going to dominate our battery electric vehicle portfolio.
Q] What is your learning from your first EV Kona in the Indian market?
Kona was able to generate excitement with its very good range; it was available with a charger. A charger at home takes care of the range anxiety. The product generated excitement in the government agencies. Some of the top government dignitaries and also IAS officers are driving Kona now, and we are getting good feedback. Our learning from the last two years’ experience has given us confidence and prompted us to announce that we will expand our EV portfolio to six vehicles by 2028.
Q] Many players have announced their product launches in the EV category. So how is Hyundai going to differentiate its brand strategy?
EVs were only being talked about when we launched a full-fledged SUV EV with a range of 450 km. We not only have brand strategy, but also a very strong product strategy. We are going to launch our EGMP platform. A unique platform, it is capable of having a range of 800 km with the top speed of 260 km per hour. Not just in terms of products, we are also thinking in terms of developing the charging infrastructure so that customers do not have anxieties on issues like how to invest in developing a public charging infrastructure. We have readied a multi-pronged strategy to take care of developing the entire ecosystem. We have announced a Rs 4000-crore investment package for battery EVs