Hyundai has said that the pre-facelift versions of the Xcent compact sedan and Grand i0 hatchback will continue to be produced to supply vehicles for the fleet market as well as ride-sharing programmes. Both the models have been updated with the Grand i10 facelift coming in earlier this year while the updated Xcent was launched for the Indian market on April 20.
The models will be sold under Hyundai’s Prime programme designed and created to further their presence in the increasingly popular fleet market and ride sharing space. This is a global programme and it looks like the Indian operations will be tailor-made to suit the needs of the Indian market. The cars are expected to be priced Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 lesser than the new crop of vehicles, but are also expected to be (relatively) high on features, since that is one of Hyundai’s main selling points.
Viewed as a strategic move by the automaker, this ensures that the reputation of a taxi does not latch itself onto the shiny visual appeal of the new Xcent as well as the Grand i10. Before its update, the Xcent, despite being in the market for over three years, struggled to achieve the kind of numbers that its main rival the Maruti Dzire was able to achieve during the same period. And this was despite the Dzire also being offered in the fleet market. In fact, Maruti Suzuki, sensing a changing perception early on, introduced the Dzire Tour a few years ago. This is essentially a previous generation model with reduced features aimed at the fleet market. Now with a third generation Swift Dzire launch in the offing, the current Swift Dzire will be repackaged and sold as a new generation Dzire Tour, meant to be used as a yellow plate only.