Hyundai evaluating a low-cost Santro

8th May 2019 2:00 pm

Stripped-down version of Santro will fill the space left vacant by the Eon and directly rival the Maruti Suzuki Alto.

Hyundai is evaluating the case for a low-cost version of the Santro to cater to first-time car buyers and to customers looking for a budget hatchback. The Korean carmaker does not have a model in the entry-level segment, following the discontinuation of the Eon around October 2018.

Also, Hyundai’s new Santro is no longer the entry-level car that the Santro Xing was until 2014, the year it was discontinued. This is because the company believes the market is moving upwards, with a lot of modern-day buyers prioritising the comfort and features of a small car over its price. "We are witnessing a trend where a lot of entry segment customers are moving upwards. There is a huge demand and potential for growth there," said Seon Seob Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India.

However, Hyundai does not want to lose out on a significant number of first-time car buyers who still prefer an entry level hatchback; cumulative sales of the Eon, Wagon R (previous gen), Maruti Alto and Renault Kwid stood at 4,70,482 units in FY2019.

But developing a new model, which will have to conform to the stringent crash-test regulations, will prove to be a cost-heavy exercise. That's where the stripped-down Santro comes in. The low-cost version will also enable Hyundai to effectively compete with the popular Alto. With a starting price of Rs 3.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the Santro, Hyundai is presently left with no answer to the Alto, which is India's bestselling car.

Hyundai could bring down the price of the stripped-down Santro through the combination of some brutal cuts (in terms of equipment and features) and a slimmer profit margin. The current base model, the Santro D-Lite, is already light on equipment. In fact, it misses out on an AC. Although it is not yet confirmed, Hyundai could even take away the dual-tone beige and black interiors. But customers will, however, continue to get a fresh upmarket design and Hyundai’s new ‘cascading’ grille that made the Santro more stylish than the previous car.

Click here for Hyundai Santro prices, reviews, images, videos and more

Click here for Hyundai India models, prices, reviews, images, videos and more

Hyundai Santro

Rs 4.67 lakh * on road price (New Delhi)

FIND OUT MORE

Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


Tell us what you think.