Hyundai Santro Pulled Off The Shelves Due To Low Demand: Report
- The Hyundai Santro has been discontinued for the second time
- The Santro CNG might continue to be on sale for a while
- Low volumes and production constraints may have killed the hatchback
Hyundai Motor India has pulled its entry-level Santro hatchback off the shelves in India due to low demand, according to a recent report. A highly popular name in the Indian auto sector, the Hyundai Santro made the Korean brand popular in its first innings when it first went on sale in 1998. However, the model's resurrection in 2018 did not see it meet with the same popularity as expected. It now seems Hyundai has decided to pull the plug on the offering in order to consolidate resources and minimise supply chain constraints. carandbike has reached out to Hyundai for an official statement and will update the story as and when the company responds.
Also Read: Used Hyundai Santro: Should You Buy One?
More recently, a leaked document suggested that the Santro petrol was discontinued while the CNG variant will continue to be on sale. Hyundai dealerships that carandbike spoke to also confirmed that the petrol version was being sold until the stocks last, while there is no clarity on the CNG model at the moment. Given Hyundai's recent push for developing more CNG derivatives of its existing cars, the Santro would've been a proper entry-level offering. But the company may reconsider the same in the interest of consolidating production and profits.
The Hyundai Santro was re-launched amidst much fanfare in 2018 priced between Rs. 3.9 lakh and Rs. 5.5 lakh (ex-showroom). However, the more recent times have seen the model prices dramatically go up by 20-30 per cent due to the rising input costs in the wake of the pandemic, semiconductor chip shortage and the Russia-Ukraine war. It seems this made the low-volume model increasingly difficult to sustain production for the automaker. Moreover, with the upcoming mandate to bring six airbags as standard, prices would've jumped even higher creating an unnecessary overlap between models in the Hyundai line-up.
Also Read: 2019 World Car Awards: Hyundai Santro, Suzuki Jimny Make It To The Top 3
The current generation Hyundai Santro was a finalist in the 2019 World Urban Car category at World Car Awards fighting for the title against the Suzuki Jimny and Kia Soul. It was always positioned as a volume-friendly offering. But the car had been averaging about 1,500-2,000 units every month and that's a far cry from the first and second generation Santro's numbers. At one point, it was the bread and butter model for Hyundai with 76 per cent of its total sales coming from the little hatch.
With the Indian consumer looking forward to SUVs rather than hatchbacks in their garage, the Santro increasingly became a less relevant offering in the segment. Do note that the more premium models in the Hyundai family have managed to garner better volumes in comparison, which further shows the changing consumer preferences. While Hyundai has seemingly pulled the plug on the Santro, the company also recently discontinued the diesel variants of the Grand i10 Nios and the Aura subcompact sedan as well.