Hyundai has over the years found great success in India. Hyundai’s foundation in India was laid by the iconic Santro. The Santro was Hyundai’s first successful car in India that gave the brand a major push against a player like Maruti. Sadly, that was almost 20 years ago. With every passing year, customer preferences changed. Hyundai tried to rejuvenate the Santro nameplate but failed to get the same level of success. Looking at this, Hyundai has discontinued the Santro in 2022. So, which car will replace the Santro? In today’s article, that is exactly what we find out.
Why did Hyundai discontinue the Santro in 2022?
Hyundai has finally decided to pull the plug on the iconic Santro in India. Reportedly, the last unit of the Santro rolled out from Hyundai’s Chennai plant in early May. The second-generation Santro never took off in India as Hyundai had hoped for. For context, in April, Hyundai sold only 1,793 units of the Santro. These figure are quite low when the the hatchback segment is taken into consideration.
The first-generation Santro will always have a special status in India. Hyundai launched the Santro in 1998 which quickly became a best seller. So why did Hyundai discontinue it? Hyundai discontinued the Santro to make space for the i10. The i10 became more premium, leaving a gap for the Santro to enter again. However, Hyundai decided to launch the Eon rather which was a failed attempt at repeating Santro’s success. So Hyundai launched the second generation in 2018. It started well, but it quickly became apparent that Hyundai will pull the plug on the Santro since the pricing was a miss for the brand.
Which car will replace the Hyundai Santro?
Hyundai will be redirecting its focus to the SUV segment as it continues to boom in the country. Seeing the success of the Tata Punch, Hyundai is reportedly working on a Punch competition. This will be a completely new car and not the Casper it has in the South Korean market. Hyundai has codenamed this car ‘Ai3’. The Ai3 will share most of its mechanical components and features with the Grand i10 Nios. The Punch rival could be a perfect option for filling the void the Santro has left in the brand’s lineup.
When will Hyundai launch the Ai3?
The Ai3 is still in its early stages of development but we expect Hyundai to launch it sometime in 2023 or 2024. In terms of pricing, it is expected to start from somewhere around Rs 6 to 7 lakhs (ex-showroom). It will take on the Tata Punch and Maruti’s upcoming micro-SUV.
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