Muscat: Hyundai, the Korean automotive manufacturer, has said that it plans to launch the new Hyundai i10 in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market by the end of this year.
It will also introduce new models in the Middle East market in the coming months, featuring new options tailored to suit the special requirements of the region.
"The Middle East is a very important and strategic market for Hyundai, and we believe that there is great potential here," says Tom Lee, vice-president and head of Hyundai Africa and Middle East.
Based in Dubai, Lee, who was on a short visit to Muscat, told 'Times of Oman' that Hyundai has seen 5 to 6 per cent growth in sales annually over the past 10 years. "I expect to see this steady growth in the coming years," he added.
According to Lee, new Hyundai models will be launched in the Middle East in the near future, which will include some small cars.
"The new Hyundai i10 will be launched by the end of this year in the GCC market," he said, adding that the automobile manufacturer had been upgrading some features of its vehicles to make them more durable in the special weather conditions in this region.
"We had serious discussions over the last few years about how to enhance customer satisfaction in this region, given the hot weather conditions here and the different driver behaviour," he said.
"Last year, Hyundai's Research and Development teams arrived from Korea, and we have been trying to provide the right and suitable products. Our emphasis has been on enhancing the cooling capacity and providing a stronger air conditioning system and battery system," he added.
He also noted that Hyundai has been including the enhanced features in its vehicles for a while. "We ended up improving the cooling system by two degrees - much better than our competitors," he said.
When asked about Hyundai's plans for the region, Lee responded that to the company what mattered was quality and not only quantity.
"Our main goal, which was recently stated by Hyundai Motor Company, is that we are not only pursuing quantity. We are looking at qualitative growth and building better service networks and brand image. We are also pursuing customer satisfaction and want to be the most loved brand," he added.
Hyundai conducts surveys regularly and improves the quality of its products on a daily basis based on the feedback it receives.
Hyundai will open a Middle East Quality Centre in Dubai to solve quality issues in the region more quickly and clearly. The company believes that this quality centre will contribute to improving customer satisfaction in the Middle East.
Commenting on Hyundai's training programme, Lee said that the company had launched a training academy in Dubai last May and was offering training services to different parts of the region.
"Hyundai is the right brand in the Middle East in terms of design and price, and we plan to increase our market share in cooperation with our best partner Oman Trading Establishment, which continues to play a very strong role," Hyundai's vice-president said.
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