After serving the Indian market for several years, Hyundai's popular hatchback, Santro, has reached the end of the road. The South Korean auto maker Hyundai has reportedly decided to stop production of Santro in the domestic market to focus on the company's new models like Grand i10 and Xcent.
For Hyundai, Santro is not just a hatchback model in the Indian market; it is also the car which helped it to build its brand in a conservative market where the South Korean auto major was struggling to gain a foothold.
How times change. The same Santro, which became the darling of the burgeoning Indian middle class, is revving on its last gears to drive away into the sunset.
The news could not have come at a worse time for the nostalgic motoring enthusiasts. Santro is bidding adieu to the Indian roads in the same year when India's' all-time favourites, Maruti 800 and good Old lady Amby- Ambassador of Hindustan Motors, retired from the domestic market.
Although it is still not clear when Hyundai will completely stop the production of this tall-boy design model in India, it is believed that the decision has been made; however, the model will be in the market for some time to come.
Launched in 1998, Santro which was also positioned as the "Sunshine car', has sold over 1.36 million units in India, and 535,000 units have been exported since its inception. Sure, it may not be the most sold car in India, but in the history of automobiles, Santro will be etched as one of those models which encouraged Indians to drive.
"Santro is one of the strong brands in Hyundai Motor India's portfolio. Santro has sold over 13.6 lakh units in domestic market and over 5.35 lakh units overseas .We affirm Santro is in production and is a part of our portfolio of 10 brands and is available at all dealerships for sale," The Times of India quoted a company spokesperson.