Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) is considering the re-entry of the Santro hatchback that laid the foundation for the South Korean marque in the Indian market according to a report on ET Auto. Currently in the works, the all-new Santro will grace Indian scenes in the next two years said the vendor sources.
Though Hyundai’s CEO Young Key Koo denied commenting on the speculation, the revival of the Santro is due to the positive feedback of the tall-boy hatchback among customers even after the company decided to phase out the production after a stupendous run with its first generation model. Hyundai’s top management agreed upon bringing the iconic Santro back as dealers still get asked about the car.
Moreover, the market space in which the Santro occupied is now wide open with Maruti Suzuki using the lack of competition to its advantage. The Wagon R and its Stingray cousin are ever popular in the Indian market with a combined sales of over 15,000 monthly units and therefore the prospect of a new Santro will only bode well for Hyundai.
The company’s reputation in India, which is the second largest auto maker and the biggest exporter of passenger cars, was carved along with the success of the Santro. It was launched in late 1998 two years after the company established its state-of-the-art facility at Sriperumbudur near Chennai – the first integrated production plant outside of Korea.
The lingering popularity of the Santro has driven Hyundai to kick start a new project which is currently under secrecy. The Santro revolutionised the Indian market by getting powered by a MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection) engine when carbs were the order of the day. After being the bedrock of Hyundai’s sales tally for over 16 years, the Santro was discontinued not because of the drop in demands but to make way for other models and meet the sales windfall.
As the Grand i10 and Elite i20 received tremendous response, the Santro that began the tall-boy segment with bulletproof reliability, a nimble petrol engine and easy gearbox had to call it a day. Through its life-cycle, Hyundai constantly upgraded the product as 13.6 lakh units were sold domestically and 5.35 lakh examples were shipped abroad before getting phased out at the end of 2014. With Maruti Suzuki reported to be working on a tallboy hatchback based on the Alto, the rumours of a new-gen Santro appears to have all the relevancy.
Source: ET Auto