Hyundai might introduce a new stripped-down variant of the new generation Santro to take on the likes of Maruti Suzuki Alto
The previous generation Santro was the entry-level model of Hyundai and the company discontinued it in 2014. The Santro was replaced by Eon but the new model couldn’t replicate the success of its earlier sibling. Now the company has discontinued the Eon and the new Santro is positioned slightly higher.
Currently, the company doesn’t have a model in the entry-level segment to take on the Maruti Suzuki Alto. Seon Seob Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India said that We are witnessing a trend where a lot of entry segment customers are moving upwards. There are a huge demand and potential for growth there”.
The entry-level segment is registering excellent growth as cumulative sales of Maruti Suzuki Alto, WagonR and Renault Kwid is 4,70,482 units in FY19. But developing a new entry-level model is not a good option as the upcoming model have to meet new crash test norms, which will increase the overall cost.
Instead, Hyundai is planning to introduce a stripped-down variant of Santro but the current entry-level model even misses out AC, which is an important feature especially in the hot climate conditions. To keep the price low, the interior might miss out on dual-tone colour theme along with exterior body colour for the bumper.
But the customer gets a modern design theme of Hyundai and a big car, which might appeal to new car buyers. The profit margin on these models will be extremely low for the company and the final decision is not yet taken. The D-lite entry level of Santro has priced at Rs. 3.90 lakh and the upcoming model could be priced around 2.9 to 3.0 lakh.
The hatchback will continue to be powered by 1.1 L petrol engine from the current model with 68 hp of power at 5,500 rpm and 99 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. This engine is mated to 5-speed manual gearbox and the ARAI claimed mileage is 20.3 kmpl. Hyundai might offer the new variant in limited colour options to keep the price low.