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SCOOP! Hyundai Santro replacement under consideration

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Hyundai is currently evaluating various options for a possible replacement of the Santro Xing hatchback. However, the Korean car marker doesn't want to deviate from the popular and space-efficient ‘tall-boy’ design formula that continues to be the unique selling proposition of this car.

According to sources, Hyundai is studying the feasibility of launching the Kia Ray compact hatchback in India. Kia Motors is Hyundai’s sister company that sells cars in many global markets, however the Kia brand is not yet present in India. Also, the Kia Ray hatchback is sold exclusively in Korea at present. However, it fits the ‘tall-boy’ brief perfectly, with a tall, boxy profile akin to that of Maruti’s Wagon R and comes closest to matching the Santro’s ‘tall-boy’ concept. As of now, the Ray is sold in Korea with a 105bhp, 998cc petrol motor but if this model were to come to India, it would most likely to be powered by Hyundai’s 1.2 litre Kappa engine.

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However, launching a Kia product in India has its own set of complications. Despite being sister brands, Hyundai and Kia are vicious rivals and there are rumours that Kia Motors itself has been considering entering the Indian market alongside Hyundai in which case it would keep the Ray to itself. If the Ray were to be sold with a Hyundai badge, Kia is likely to charge Hyundai a hefty royalty which may make the Ray’s pricing uncompetitive.

It’s difficult to predict if and when the Ray would make it to Indian showrooms but what’s clear is that Hyundai eventually will have to discontinue the Santro in favour of more modern products

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It’s been 15 years since the original Hyundai Santro was launched in India and though the entry-level hatchback still continues to find buyers, it is getting a bit long in the tooth now and a replacement is long overdue.

Autocar India

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When compared to this, Wagon R looks better (however much I dislike it !).

But, considering that Santro too had a similar image problem when introduced about 15

years back, who knows, this too may be successful.

Why not Kia bring some of their better models ? I wonder.

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I was impressed by Kia's recent transformation abroad and was wondering when they would come to India. They have some really good looking models which are perfect for the Indian market, like the hatchback range, the Kia saloon (Cerato/Forte) and the very hot Sportage SUV. But this Ray is certainly not one of their better looking models and looks like one of the Jap K-cars. The Wagon-R Stingray has brought us the exact K-car shape, may be this has prompted Hyundai in introducing similar models. I'd rather have Kia as a separate brand with their entire line-up, that will be better news for the Indian consumer!

Although a great car, Santro is long in the tooth and sitting in one of the black-and yellow Santro cabs (with the awful brown dashboard) in Mumbai seriously reminds me of that. Well, the car has done its job very well, much like the M800, let it retire gracefully now.

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Will provide competition for the best selling wagon r i guess. However it would be better if it s released as a kia and more of their cars come into India. They are all better looking versions of the already handsome hyundais. In fact cars like the Kia Forte and Kia Rio look stunning

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Santro is still selling in decent nos (3500 to 4000). So it is very unlikely that Hyundai will drop this one anytime soon. Plus i am sure it must have recovered the cost of dies and other investments in the product. Add to that - it is selling without any Above The Line ads or branding activities. So all in all it is making handsome profits for Hyundai, and they would like to rip the benefit as long as possible.

I see a lot of Black and Yellow Santro Taxis in Mumbai nowadays, so I believe it is doing well in other similar Taxi markets as well.

The Kia car (so called proposed Santro replacement) looks dated and boring then even the 15 yrs old Santro !!

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