Hyundai is reportedly working on a stripped down variant of the recently introduced new-gen Santro hatchback. This new variant is likely to fill the void left in Hyundai’s Indian portfolio after the discontinuation of the Eon in October last year. The current Santro range starts at Rs. 3.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). As a result, Hyundai doesn’t have a product to compete in the high-volume entry-level hatchback segment.
Also Read: Full Details on Hyundai Santro
Though Hyundai has always concentrated on interior quality and features, rather than an aggressive price tag, a missing entry-level hatchback is seriously affecting the carmaker’s sales growth. The fact that the previous-gen WagonR, Alto, Eon and Kwid cumulatively sold over 4.7 lakh units in FY2019 shows the sheer size of this market. Hence, Hyundai is trying to do everything it can to regain a share of this pie. The base-spec Santro variant is thus a part of this strategy to somehow add a contender to compete with the likes of the Maruti Alto and Renault Kwid.
The Korean carmaker is expected to cut some corners in the features department to bring down the price of the new base-spec Santro variant. Also, the company might even cut its margin on each unit to ensure that the Santro base model is priced in close proximity to its key rivals. The lower margins can be overshadowed by higher unit sales, if the Santro does manage to attract a few buyers away from the Maruti Alto and Renault Kwid.
Also Read: Hyundai Santro variants explained
We expect the new base model to come with all black interiors, instead of the dual-tone black and beige combination seen at the moment. Also, since the current base model (D-Lite) doesn’t come with an air conditioner, we don’t expect to see it in the new base variant either.
It will be interesting to see how Hyundai India manages to price this Alto-competing variant of the Santro. We expect an official announcement to be made by the manufacturer in the next few weeks.