NEW DELHI -- Sales at Hyundai Motor India Ltd rose 66 percent in January to 17,035 vehicles, propelled by a leap in exports over the past year, the country's second-biggest carmaker said on Wednesday.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. said while domestic sales rose by 25 percent to 12,608 vehicles, exports totalled 4,427 units compared with just 157 in January last year.
Hyundai, which has been in India since October 1998, makes the Santro hatchback and the Accent and Sonata sedans at its $700 million car plant on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Madras. It is also using India as an export hub for small cars, particularly the Santro.
The carmaker said overall sales of the Santro in January rose 19 percent from a year ago to 10,041 units, while sales of the Accent sedan jumped 59 percent to 2,404 units.
The Indian unit also sold 101 units of the Sonata family car and 62 Terracan sports utility vehicles, which are imported fully built from South Korea.
Hyundai's main competitors in the Indian market include top-ranked Maruti Udyog Ltd., majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp., local firm Tata Motors Ltd. and the Indian subsidiary of Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Helped by its booming exports, Hyundai India's sales in 2003 rose 36 percent to 150,741 vehicles, giving it nearly 15 percent of the domestic passenger vehicle market.
Shares in Maruti rose strongly on Wednesday after it reported record January sales earlier this week, while Tata Motors shares rose on anticipation of strong figures for last month.