Hyundai Set To Wind Up Production Of Santro

Hyundai’s production of the Santro hatchback in Tamil Nadu has come to an end. The Santro, which debuted in 1998, was the vehicle that first introduced the Korean automaker to the Indian market. The first-generation vehicle was sold until 2014, when Hyundai reintroduced the Santro as an Eon successor four years later.

In 2018, Hyundai relaunched the Santro, starting at 3.9 lakh and going up to 5.5 lakh for the top model. The Santro debuted with new styling cues and a CNG engine option for its 1.1-litre petrol engine. The Hyundai Santro is positioned at the top of the budget sector, with features such as rear AC vents and a touchscreen. However, the car lacked a few fundamental amenities, like windshield wipers.

The Santro’s entry-level model was overpriced for what it supplied. At that price, it even lacked a factory-installed air conditioner. Furthermore, the Santro’s higher variants were priced higher at launch than the now-discontinued Grand i10’s entry-level models, which were more capacious and had a more powerful 1.2-litre engine.

Hyundai considered relocating the Santro’s lower models in 2019 to compete with entry-level hatchback market rivals such as the Alto and the 800cc Renault Kwid. The introduction of the strict BS6 standards resulted in greater input costs, which led to even higher retail prices.

The Santro’s entry-level model was overpriced for what it supplied. At that price, it even lacked a factory-installed air conditioner. Furthermore, the Santro’s higher variants were priced higher at launch than the now-discontinued Grand i10’s entry-level models, which were more capacious and had a more powerful 1.2-litre engine.

Hyundai considered relocating the Santro’s lower models in 2019 to compete with entry-level hatchback market rivals such as the Alto and the 800cc Renault Kwid. The introduction of the strict BS6 standards resulted in greater input costs, which led to even higher retail prices.

Furthermore, the government’s recent decree mandating the installation of six airbags could be another nail in the Santro’s coffin, as Hyundai will have to re-engineer the car to fulfil the standards, and the additional expenses would not justify the car’s location. Furthermore, with the approaching BS6.2 pollution standards, upgrading the 1.1-litre engine—which is only available on the Santro—will be uneconomical.

Hyundai’s entry-level vehicle in India will now be the Grand i10 Nios. The hatchback is priced at 5.39 lakh rupees (ex-showroom). There are rumours that Hyundai will introduce a micro-SUV under the Venue (which is also set for a facelift shortly), which might be the future Santro of SUVs due to its high riding style.