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Old 17th November 2014, 01:38   #31
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

This was a pretty great car. Excellent compared to our M800 anyway. The engine was quite peppy to drive when I did drive it a few times. I'm guessing the recent announcement of the new guidelines from the government regarding safety features brought an earlier than expected demise to the Santro.

I'm guessing the line of thought is that instead of spending time and money on testing an old car with ABS and airbags, updating to the new design language of the 21st century, Hyundai just decided to shelve the model and go with the EON and I10.
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Old 17th November 2014, 08:59   #32
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Back in 1998, when the Santro was the first of the three small cars that were due for launch was nearing its launch date, I read in some magazine (cannot recollect the name now) that the fate that the Santro would meet in the Indian car market would decide the fate of the other two cars, since the Santro was the ugliest and weirdest of the three. The Santro was launched and within a month or so the Daewoo Matiz was also launched (in fact I remember reading in Autocar UK, that what Daewoo achieved with the Matiz which was originally called the d'Arts, was far better than what the Mini achieved with BMW) and everybody that that this beauty would have the Santro for all three meals of the day.

Then came the turn of the Indica and Tata were so nervous that they even actively considered taking booking at Re. 1/- till some wiser counsel prevailed upon them. I remember taking my father to all three launches. He sat in the Daewoo first and said, it was nice and spacious but not much support for the back and that his legs were coming up awkwardly in the back seat. I then took him to have look at the Santro and he straightaway plonked in the back seat and after trying out all kinds of postures came up with the verdict that the Santro's rear seat was as good as the Ambassador's; firm, high and providing good lower and upper back. He also said this would outsell the Daewoo Matiz. In some months the Indica came and my father did not even want to test it out.

I asked him why he thought the Santro was such a good car when it looked anything but nice. His answer to that was, when I am sitting in the car what matters is how comfortable I am; I don't care what it looks like on the outside. Later on we bought a Wagon R and my father decreed that the rear seat on the Wagon R was almost like sitting on the floor.

I have told you this longish story for a reason. All kinds of reasons have been attributed to the success of the Santro. Satchi and Satchi's campaign with Shah Rukh Khan was the most attributed reason. But I think the reason is what my father believed. It was like the Ambassador at the back. The suspension to was good and it managed to reasonably isolate the occupants of the cars from the bumps and the thumps of the road.

When the i10 was introduced even when it reached a high of 15,000 units per month, the Santro was happily clocking around 4 to 5 thousand units per month. When the Grand i10 was introduced it was the i10 that took a hit with its sales plummeting to around 2-3 three thousand while the Santro was undisturbed. In October, 2014, the Santro sold 3348 units to the i10's 3152 units. In August, 2014 the i10 sold 2278 whereas the Santro sold 2724 units. if you refer to the sales figures in the other months the i10 has just sold a few more, not in hundreds and thousands.

Now that brings me to the point of this post. Hyundai is committing a mistake if it is phasing out the Santro. Please remember the Santro is a proper name and it is remembered easily. And it has become a legend of sorts in this country. On the other hand the i10 is more like a number and it is not something that has the same draw as a proper name. Just imagine if the Sonata was called the i45 what kind of a recall would that have? I have my reservations about Hyundai using the i prefix to make it look contemporary to geeks. Geeks don't buy cars, they like to be driven in them.

Hyundai should seriously consider phasing out the older i10 and revamp the Santro without losing the inherently great qualities of the car. That will pull the sales back up and maybe it will cross the Grand i10s sales as well, since in comparison to its predecessors the Grand i10 is doing much smaller numbers. Think again Hyundai, it is never a good idea to pull a winner out of the game.
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Old 17th November 2014, 09:08   #33
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Sad to see a good car being phased out. I would say santro was quite apt for old aged people especially who had knee ailments . When we were on the look out for a car for my parents with a shoestring budget our search narrowed down to the K10 and the santro. As compared to the former the latter had oddles of space plus the interior quality was way better plus my dad could easily get In and out of the car, but later settled down for the K10 since he was a big fan of Maruti and ultimately the car was for him.
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Old 17th November 2014, 09:44   #34
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Quoting a dialogue from the movie The Dark Knight-
"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself becoming the villain".

Santro is that hero

It is one car that got the tall-boy design just right. Chances are that prospective Santro buyers may now choose between the i10/Eon or the Wagon R- Hyundai may hope for the former while Maruti for the latter
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Old 17th November 2014, 10:54   #35
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

This was my first "new" car (ZipPlus). It was with me between 2002-2006. Carried me over 34000k, without any trouble, puncture etc. Saved the family in one accident too. I loved it till the day it left.

Its a low maintenance car, easy to service and good enough for a small family of 4 people. Thanks to Hyundai for a car like this on behalf of those middle-classes family who enjoy it till date.

Its sad to see this going away from production, But I trust we can see that on roads for another 5-7 years.
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Old 17th November 2014, 13:17   #36
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Oh !! Hyundai should have carried making Santro. It still has some life in it. Only recently did it make a foray into semi urban markets.

I sold mine - 2011 model - in October 2014 and bought Zest XM QJD.

Never had complaints with Santro. Clocked 51 K km since 02/2012. Engine was as good as new. The evaluator was very much surprised with the car for.

Never spent a single rupee more than the scheduled maintenance.
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Old 17th November 2014, 14:12   #37
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Just like any other middle class Indian, I aspired to own a car and Santro was my first choice when I bought mine in 2004. The competition was thin (with only Maruti Zen for competition). The choice was simple and straight forward.
And it served my family for the last 10 years without any glitches(touch wood). Now I am on the look out for a replacement and I find the decision tough this time with so many options.
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Old 17th November 2014, 16:26   #38
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

There were some rumors about Santro Diesel being launched. I think that would have been a hit in the market. Infact i sent an email to HMP Chennai to find out the facts and also mentioned that i would be ready to swap the petrol version with the diesel version.
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Old 17th November 2014, 17:04   #39
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

All good things must come to an end!

I picked up a Santro Xing (Midnight Blue) in 2007, with some trepidation, as she was to be my first 'Hyundai'.

And that one car built my confidence in Hyundai, as a brand!

She gave me 5 years of hassle-free, delightful ownership, and some memorable drives across South India.
Also helped that I was wooing a very special girl, who would be my wife, for most of that time!

For the segment, the Santro had/has solid build quality, superior material - plastics, fabric etc, nice decent engine and had none of the niggles & rattles I've come to associate with my Maruti-Suzukis.

I handed over her keys to a friend who 'adopted'(!) her in 2012. And, she's looking as good as ever - & still going strong!

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Old 17th November 2014, 20:47   #40
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

We had the first generation Santro way back in 1999. Drove for 5 years without a single breakdown or any issues (with timely servicings). Took it to many highway drives, and it never failed. Except for its bumpy ride there was no major shortcomings in this car. This car launched Hyundai in India much like the 800 did for Maruti. Adios Santro!
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:02   #41
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

The sales numbers of the Santro over the years are a testimony to how it ticks all the boxes for so many of us for being the first car or that reliable second car for the market runarounds. Much has already been said about that. In fact, Santro made Maruti sit up and get serious by giving it tough competition.

Having said that, I always found the car quite ugly. I know nostalgic fellow members viewing this post with sepia tinted glasses will bash me up for that, but that's what I thought of the car when it was first introduced. Familiarity has made me get used to its sight, so it no longer seem to me to be that ugly, but still..

PS: We do have a Santro in the family
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:48   #42
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsack View Post
Back in 1998, when the Santro was the first of the three small cars that were due for launch was nearing its launch date, I read in some magazine (cannot recollect the name now) that the fate that the Santro would meet in the Indian car market would decide the fate of the other two cars, since the Santro was the ugliest and weirdest of the three. The Santro was launched and within a month or so the Daewoo Matiz was also launched (in fact I remember reading in Autocar UK, that what Daewoo achieved with the Matiz which was originally called the d'Arts, was far better than what the Mini achieved with BMW) and everybody that that this beauty would have the Santro for all three meals of the day.

Then came the turn of the Indica and Tata were so nervous that they even actively considered taking booking at Re. 1/- till some wiser counsel prevailed upon them. I remember taking my father to all three launches. He sat in the Daewoo first and said, it was nice and spacious but not much support for the back and that his legs were coming up awkwardly in the back seat. I then took him to have look at the Santro and he straightaway plonked in the back seat and after trying out all kinds of postures came up with the verdict that the Santro's rear seat was as good as the Ambassador's; firm, high and providing good lower and upper back. He also said this would outsell the Daewoo Matiz. In some months the Indica came and my father did not even want to test it out.

I asked him why he thought the Santro was such a good car when it looked anything but nice. His answer to that was, when I am sitting in the car what matters is how comfortable I am; I don't care what it looks like on the outside. Later on we bought a Wagon R and my father decreed that the rear seat on the Wagon R was almost like sitting on the floor.

I have told you this longish story for a reason. All kinds of reasons have been attributed to the success of the Santro. Satchi and Satchi's campaign with Shah Rukh Khan was the most attributed reason. But I think the reason is what my father believed. It was like the Ambassador at the back. The suspension to was good and it managed to reasonably isolate the occupants of the cars from the bumps and the thumps of the road.
I also remember the time when Santro and Matiz were first launched in India. At that time, chances were that 7 out of 10 people found Santro ugly while Matiz much more pleasing to look at. Of course that was only external. Once the cars began selling, the fact that Matiz scored higher on looks was the only positive for Matiz. Santro since then has become almost like a household name representing trust and comfort for hundred of thousands of families who have owned one. Initially in those days, it was also the one car which was considered vastly popular among Sikh gentlemen wearing turban due to the additional head room not available in most of the cars of the era.

When I bought my first Santro, I didn't quite like the back seat, in fact in the 11 or so years of ownership I have never sat in the back seat of my Santro. But from family feedback I know its very comfortable and offers decent support even today. For me though, its no nonsense practical design and features were and are still more than adequate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-go-man View Post
Quoting a dialogue from the movie The Dark Knight-
"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself becoming the villain".

Santro is that hero
You can say that again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenlybull View Post
We had the first generation Santro way back in 1999. Drove for 5 years without a single breakdown or any issues (with timely servicings). Took it to many highway drives, and it never failed. Except for its bumpy ride there was no major shortcomings in this car. This car launched Hyundai in India much like the 800 did for Maruti. Adios Santro!
I have driven this car for over a lac kms. No breakdowns, no untoward repairs or emergency replacements; good performance whether in city or highway; and an ability to take abuse in its stride makes it a great car for Indian roads; almost one of its kind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Top-Gear View Post
The sales numbers of the Santro over the years are a testimony to how it ticks all the boxes for so many of us for being the first car or that reliable second car for the market runarounds. Much has already been said about that. In fact, Santro made Maruti sit up and get serious by giving it tough competition.

Having said that, I always found the car quite ugly. I know nostalgic fellow members viewing this post with sepia tinted glasses will bash me up for that, but that's what I thought of the car when it was first introduced. Familiarity has made me get used to its sight, so it no longer seem to me to be that ugly, but still..

PS: We do have a Santro in the family
Well yes I agree when it was launched, the first model which still is in circulation somewhat was not too pleasant to look at. The future changes though gave the car a heavier, meatier look. To each his own, I guess

Last edited by rattanw : 18th November 2014 at 15:49.
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:49   #43
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

The Santro car was an instant hit with its peppy engine, light steering, and a whole-lot-better headroom than its sole competitor of the time, the Maruti Suzuki Zen. Many of the santro lovers going to miss it one of the best selling Hyundai cars.
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Old 20th November 2014, 14:13   #44
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Unhappy Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

I "learnt" driving in my fiancée's (now wife) Santro, and will always have very fond memories.

We found it very difficult to let go of her, when we eventually decided to replace her with her newer sibling the Grand i10. My wife literally shed tears, and was quite upset for a few days. We still remember her whenever we see a maroon Santro on the street.

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R.I.P. Santro.
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Old 22nd November 2014, 11:20   #45
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Had a great experience with the Santro (almost a decade of owning it), saw through many a milestones in my life while riding it, not to mention the memorable outings with friends & family.
Though I did not quite like its frog like looks, it bettered every other need, when compared to its competitors of the time (mainly the Zen, Indica). Especially the smooth gearshift and the tallboy design. Also the interiors even though felt economy, was finished well (no gaps, no rattling).

However, over the years, I felt the later editions of the Santro had thinned - similar to the Wagon-Rs and Swift-s. And the body felt more tinny.

All through the ownership, it was a hassle experience and in almost a decade the only major repairs encountered apart from periodic maintenance were replacement of the alternator (covered by warranty) and replacement of a corroded tailpipe. But the Hyndai service tried to rip me off several times by asking me to go for additives, de-carbonising etc.

The Santro surely has not outlived its life (unlike the Amby), hope that Hyundai does a similar act like Toyota did, when it replaced the Qualis with the Innova.
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