All it takes is one car to start a revolution. For India, that car was the humble Maruti 800 while for Hyundai, it was the Santro. From being a landmark launch that kickstarted Hyundai’s journey to becoming India’s 2nd largest car maker to its last few years where it became a taxi market favorite, the Santro has found a place in many homes. Now, it looks like you’re going to see it make a comeback.
Sources say the new Santro is being developed in South Korea and it could hit Indian showrooms in around two years. It is believed Hyundai decided to revive the car as customer interest in it still hasn’t faded, with dealers reporting enquiries for the model even today. In fact, when the car was discontinued, some people were even willing to pay a premium for it as dealers were in no hurry to clear the stock!
The Santro's production began in May 1998 with the car making its global debut in September that same year. In 2000, Hyundai launched the Santro ZipDrive and the model hit the one lakh sales milestone soon after. Come 2002, the Santro ZipPlus with the 1.1-litre Epsilon engine was launched, as was the Santro automatic. In 2003, Hyundai launched the Santro Xing and in November 2004 it beat the Maruti Suzuki Alto to become India’s largest selling car.
From 2009, the Santro was offered in the taxi market as well and sixteen years after the Santro was born, it was laid to rest in 2014. In its lifetime, the Santro name brought in around 13.6 lakh sales in India and another 5.35 lakh sales through exports (as the Hyundai Atos Prime). Hyundai has not officially confirmed plans to revive the Santro, but at the premium end, it is bringing back the Tucson with plans for a new compact SUV also in place.
What are your expectations from the new Santro? Would you buy it if Hyundai India launched it? Tell us in the comments!