Hyundai Motor India MD and CEO YK Koo with actor and company ambassador Shah Rukh Khan at the launch of the Santro in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

Hyundai Santro Makes Comeback In India

South Korean auto major Hyundai today launched its once popular hatchback, Santro, in a new avatar in India. The introductory prices start from Rs 3.89 lakh (ex-showroom).

The company, which operates in the country through its wholly-owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor India Ltd., had discontinued the previous Santro model in December 2014. The new car, which is powered by a four-cylinder 1.1 litre petrol engine, comes with automated manual transmission and factory-fitted compressed natural gas fuel option.

The manual variants of the car, including two CNG powered trims, are priced between Rs 3.89 lakh and 5.45 lakh. The two variants, with automated gear shift, are priced at Rs 5.18 lakh and Rs 5.46 lakh.

The introductory prices would be for the first 50,000 customers. The company has already received bookings for over 23,500 units in 13 days.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd.’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer YK Koo said the all-new Santro was a true example of Hyundai’s ‘Made in India’ philosophy and a result of numerous product clinics and rigorous durability test on various terrains in India.

"Our research and development centre in Nanyang (South Korea), Chennai and Hyderabad have put strong efforts for product supremacy and utmost customer delight," he said.

Hyundai has invested over $100 million on the new Santro, which was developed under the code name AH2, over the last three years, Koo said.

The new model comes with a localisation level of 90 percent, the company said. It also boasts of various features, including rear parking camera, voice recognition and eco-coating technology, among others. Safety features include anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution and impact sensing auto door unlock.

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The new Santro will compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki’s WagonR, Celerio and Tata Motors’ Tiago in the mid-compact segment.

Santro was first rolled out from the company’s Chennai plant in Sept. 1998 and the brand was the mainstay of the company in the Indian car market. Over 13 lakh units of the model have been sold in the country since its launch.