It was once called the most dependable sub-compact car, but with competition gone far ahead, the Hyundai Accent has now gone well past its prime and now Hyundai has officially announced that it has stopped the Accent for the Indian market. Hyundai is now planning to introduce a fresh product in the same category along with a compact SUV and an MPV.
Confirming the news, Rakesh Srivastava, Senior VP and division head - marketing and sales, HMIL, said: "The Accent was discontinued three months ago. At that time, we were doing around 1,000-plus units of the model in India. But its discontinuation throws up an opportunity for us to bring in a sedan in the Accent space."
There has been a healthy demand for the sub-four metre sedan in the Indian market.
"Right now the sub-four metre segment comprises around 22,000 units per month across the industry," said Srivastava. "We have the capability and technology to bring in a product in that segment. We would want to do it along with a compact SUV and an MPV."
But the Accent will not disappear so soon. The company will continue exporting the car. "We are exporting the Accent to Algeria and some other countries and on an average, we do around 2,000 units per month though the numbers come down in the last quarter of the calendar," said Srivastava.
The Hyundai Accent made its entry in to India along with the Santro. After making this decision to phase out the Accent, the obvious question was whether Santro would be meeting with the same fate, but Srivastava made it clear that the production of Santro would not be affected. "We have sold 1.8 million Santros in the past 15 years and we are still selling around 3,900-4,200 units a month of the car despite the clutter of 28 brands in the compact segment," he said.
So, now the issue is what should be taking the Hyundai Accent’s place? In August we had reported, at CarWale, that Hyundai may launch a sedan based on the recently unveiled Grand i10 compact hatchback. The Korean automaker currently has the Verna, Elantra and the Sonata sedans in various segments but has no vehicle in the highly lucrative compact sedan segment that is currently dominated by the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze.
The new Grand i10-based compact sedan is expected to be a sub four-metre vehicle and might do well to fill the gap. Also awaited is the launch of the new i20.