Hyundai sold 64,729 units of the Santro last year and narrowly edged Tata Tiago while Renault managed to garner 53,438 units of the Kwid
Hyundai Motor India Limited introduced the latest Santro hatchback after several years of absence in late 2018 to celebrate two decades since the model was first launched in India. The Santro set the tone for the rest of the hit volume-based vehicles from Hyundai to arrive but the third generation version did not have smooth sailing in sales last year in contrary to the expectations.
The Santro began its Indian innings clocking 7,000 units on average in its initial months and the sales slowdown that hampered the automotive industry’s progress throughout 2019 did kick in at the wrong moment. The hatchback’s numbers began falling from May 2019 and it went as low as 3,288 units in August. The Santro had faced tough competition at the same time from the Wagon R, which received a major upgrade in January 2019.
The South Korean auto major rejigged the Santro’s lineup, in the meantime, and brought in the Era Executive variant. This resulted in the discontinuation of D-Lite and Era trims and the number of grades reduced to four while increasing the entry-level model’s pricing. Hyundai also debuted the Santro Anniversary Edition with cosmetic updates late last year.
Towards the end of the calendar year, the Santro did recover to some extent and the overall tally helped in getting the better of Tata’s top-selling Tiago and Renault Kwid. Hyundai sold 64,729 units of the Santro in 2019 while Renault managed to garner 53,438 units of the Kwid during the same time with a massive 20 per cent Year-on-Year sales decline.
The Tiago, on the other hand, finished inches closer to the Santro last year. With 63,215 units, the Tiago was just 1,514 units down on the Santro. It endured a huge YoY drop though as 92,286 units in CY2018 meant, 32 per cent volume slump was registered. The Kwid recovered by a big margin since the facelift was launched in early October 2019.
The battle between the trio will rage on into the new year as well. The Santro will get a minor facelift in the coming weeks with BSVI compliant powertrain. As for design, it will likely gain an updated front grille, reworked bumper and perhaps added equipment. The Tiago is getting a sizeable revision to be in line with Impact Design 2.0 and it could be showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo.