If rumours are to be believed, Hyundai Santro, the product that laid the foundation of the Korean car maker’s success story in India might be replaced. According to a report in Autocar India, Hyundai is said to be evaluating the Kia Ray hatchback and is working on the nitty gritties of launching it in India.
The santro is still on sale in India and the original tall boy of the Indian car market and is positioned above the Hyundai Eon. However, the Santro Xing is losing its zing, the Indian car buyer today is well-informed and wants updated products and the Eon ate up most of the Santro’s sales. While many believed the i10 was the successor to the Santro, Hyundai might spring a surprise by replacing it with the Ray.
The reason for considering the Ray could be simple; for starters it is a tall hatchback and looks unconventional, like the Santro, which broke the tradition of simple and short small cars. The Kia Ray uses a 105bhp 998cc petrol engine although this engine won’t make it to India, instead we might get the 1.2-litre Kappa engine.
The only fly in the ointment could be the fact that Hyundai and Kia are fierce competitors and leave no stone unturned to undercut each other. If Kia doesn’t enter our markets, it might impose a heavy royalty and this could knock the chances of Hyundai bringing in the Ray.
Although there is a possibility of Hyundai launching the Ray in India only if Hyundai and Kia get their act together. But Hyundai could use the Ray as a launchpad to introduce the Kia brand in India by renaming it as the Santro, as in the Kia Santro. This would serve the purpose of both companies right? If Hyundai does that, don’t forget you read it first here.