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Old 24th November 2014, 16:29   #46
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

First tallboy in India, you will be missed. SRK(Shahrukh Khan) must be unhappy too because he was the brand ambassador for this cute little car. Just kidding!
This year on ther 15th anniversary, Autocar listed the Santro in their article which talked about 15 cars that revolutionized the auto industry in India.
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Old 24th November 2014, 23:04   #47
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

A requiem for an unsung hero.

I still remember July 21, 2003. The day will forever be etched in my memory. It was the day, that we visited the Hyundai COCO showroom in New Delhi - Hyundai Motor Plaza. It will be etched in memory for a variety of reasons.
  • It was the first time I was putting money down for a new car.
  • It was to be our first car for our home - after we had returned back to India for good. It had to be an automatic.
  • The look on the salesman's face - when I told him I wanted to buy the Santro AT - he probably thought I was crazy. With good reason. I just walked in and asked him to book the car - get this -without even a test drive! Those were the days, when the AT used to only exist in the brochure. No TD or showroom piece available - no sir!
  • 2 days later, I was told to pay up the entire amount - it was more expensive than the highest spec model of the Santro at that time. No one in the dealership would believe - that I was serious. They probably thought, let him put his money where his mouth is.
  • 2 months later I was the proud owner of a Santro Automatic.
  • On the day of delivery, the salesman could not explain how to operate the car. I forgave him for his ignorance.
  • He told me, I was the only Santro AT owner in New Delhi... as if to say that probably made me the craziest guy in town - why on earth would anyone drive a Santro without a stick shift.
  • I never handed over the keys for valet parking (and still don't). Back then, it was because, I was probably the only guy at the parking lot who knew how to operate an AT.
There are intense personal memories of her. When she was there for me in joy and sorrow.
  • She was there, when both my children were on their way into this world. Taking wifey to the emergency room for admission.
  • Getting both our new borns back home - in what was their first journey by car.
  • She carried my Mom in what was to be her last journey by car.
  • Or when our family of five adults and 2 children crammed together to do Durga Puja darshan all over New Delhi.
And when she was there for me at every moment in the humdrum of everyday life..
  • The runs to the local market.
  • The commutes to work and back.
  • The chases behind the just-missed school-bus
  • The frantic drives to the airport or railway station to catch that flight or train.
  • The leisurely drives into congested markets, knowing I will find parking - because I am taking her along.

11 years and 2 months on...
  • ATs have caught up with most drivers awareness levels. Even FNGs are comfortable changing the ATs gearoil.
  • She still gives me a dismal 8 kmpl in Summers and a little more cheery 11 kmpl in Winters. I absolutely adore her, when she returns 300 + on a tankful.
  • She still throws tantrums when starting up on cold mornings. Her starter brushes have been changed out a number of times.
  • She is old now - almost 77k and I can feel her being a little sluggish in the morning when she wakes up, but still an absolute Joy to drive when warmed up.
  • She's an absolute whiz at picking up her skirt and racing off till the next set of lights gets her. Obviously stick shifters, can only grimace when they see her tail lights.
  • She's agile and how! She can dart in and out between traffic lanes, just like the wind. Ask any biker that follows her.
Would I sell her off? Does anyone sell off family?
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Old 24th November 2014, 23:40   #48
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Perhaps the only guy here who bought a Santo and then for his next car bought a Santo again. I love this car. Period.

I never liked the wagon R's shape, and in comparison to the ogre the Santo was the fair maiden. Definitely a class above the m800. Torquey engine and decent handling combined with a good ac it checked most boxes for most people.

I have got an amazing mileage of 18 kmpl in city at time in my 55 k done Santo and even now, 9 years and 107k it still gives 12+ easily. My i10 of half the vintage provides 1-2 km less even though I drive it with the lightest of foot. 400 km on a tankful is a cinch.

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Old 27th November 2014, 22:53   #49
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Default Hyundai to end Santro production

My first AC car was a Santro Xing and it really was a trouble free experience and I still have fond memories of that car.
To me the most standout features of the Santro Xing are its top notch paint quality and its timeless design. If someone gives a proper wash to more than a five year old Xing, its feels like fresh and relatively new. That says a lot regarding the paint quality. Similarly the design of this car still looks fresh to me especially compared to i10s, Altos and even Eons of the world. The front grill has chrome but it doesn't look loud or cheap.
The Getz was discontinued to free the production capacity for i20 which beat the HMIL's own expectations, so it might be possible that Santro may be discontinued to free up production capacity for i10 Grand.
There was a marketing campaign few years ago on the theme 'Santro wale' which aptly described the feelings of the public towards Santro.
At the same time one thing which was becoming visible that the overall quality of Santro was deteriorating over the years.
One more thing I liked about Santro that when the Limited Edition was launched, it was a proper Limited Edition and not just a sticker job which is the norm nowadays. I still remember how desperate I was to exchange my Santro with a Limited Edition just for that Tacho and Alloys one but was unsuccessful.

Last edited by carwatcher : 27th November 2014 at 22:57.
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Old 28th November 2014, 11:17   #50
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I am sure you meant Santro.
I did the same with my Fusion, exchanged it for Fusion+ and if get a good piece will do it again.
Originally Posted by lsp View Post
Perhaps the only guy here who bought a Santo and then for his next car bought a Santo again. I love this car. Period.
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Old 30th November 2014, 11:42   #51
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

This piece of news brought a lump in my throat. It was inevitable,it was going to happen sooner or later. The Santro in it's current avatar has been around since 2003.

My first car was a black Santro Xing. It was a hand me down given to me when I was 18. Learned how to drive in it, was my ride to college and was with me for 3 years.

It was a really really good car! It was incredibly zippy. Miss that initial pick-up in my new car. It had a really comfortable driver's seat, and ease of ingress/egress was great. The tall boy design was one of the primary reasons my dad bought it. He still says it's the best car he has bought to date. I remember at one point of time almost every household had a Santro, if not as a primary car, then as the second/third/fourth car.

The AC was a chiller, I think it was the best hatch in it's day. It had a hydraulic power steering, which is completely opposite to the feather light EPS units in the new Hyundai's. I think the Santro was much better than the competition from Maruti (Zen, WagonR etc) at the time.

I sold my Santro with 135k kms on the odo. It did not give a single issue throughout those 135k kms. I traded it in for a Grand i10. More than me, a couple of my friends were quite sad to see the Santro go. One of them said 'We grew up with that car!'

Till 6 months back, I used to see Santro's with temporary number plates very regularly. There are people who still swear by it. I also did ponder over getting a new Santro for a bit. Sadly, it didn't come in black anymore.
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Old 30th November 2014, 13:11   #52
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Nostalgic memories are triggered hearing this news. To be truthful, I did not like the initial model of Santro, especially when looked from rear. Then Hyundai introduced Xing with SRK as brand ambassador and rest is history. I am happy this car has attained an iconic status along with Maruti 800. I have owned both these cars in the past.

Like many Indians, my first car was Maruti 800 - basic model bought in 1999. In the year 2005 I was looking to upgrade and the natural choice was Santro Xing. I bought Silver colour Xing XS model. For next 7 years this car became a constant companion in all my travels and commute to office. The drive was comfortable in city and highway. The Power Steering was a revelation and parking was a breeze even in tight corners. The AC was chilling and the interiors were rich. It met all the aspirational desires of the Indians upgrading from basic hatch back.

It is no wonder it has held its fort in sales for all these years and still making good numbers. For family needs, we upgraded to a diesel sedan in 2012 and our Santro was sold off. I still hold Santro's zip drive and comfort in high esteem.
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Old 11th December 2014, 19:00   #53
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

This news truly brings back lot of memories. I own a Nov 2006 Santro Xing which has worked flawlessly except a clutch plate issue which was down to my dad's driving style.

Despite being a tall boy it has given me many miles of driving fun both in the city and in the highway runs. The initial pickup, hydraulic steering and the tyre upsize all worked to bring a smile every time I drove it. As some one mentioned in an earlier post, the paint job is truly top notch, after a small TLC it still shines like its just out of the showroom.

Since I had to move out of the country, I sent it to my home town in Kerala where its now enjoying a well deserved retirement life ... absolutely no plans of giving it away.
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Old 13th December 2014, 11:43   #54
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

This today's article in NDTV carries the same news..

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Old 13th December 2014, 16:28   #55
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

I think Hyundai India must have weighed the pros and cons carefully before deciding to end production of the Santro. The original tall boy sold in very healthy numbers for the last six months - 2333, 2035, 2724, 2260, 3348 & 796 units (numbers taken from Team-BHP's official sales thread). The November factory dispatch of 796 units (after an average of ~ 2500 units per month) can be taken as a sure sign of the Santro winding up its long and absolutely illustrious career in India. It can be safely said that this car almost single-handedly (with a little help from the Accent) laid the foundation for Hyundai Motor India Limited to become the company it is today i.e. India's second largest car manufacturer and largest car exporter. In addition to that, the car's sheer reliability, quality, user friendliness and unmatched driving pep was responsible for building the Hyundai brand in India. One must remember that people couldn't even pronounce the brand name correctly when the then-unheard-of South Korean company first started operations in India.

We've never owned a Santro and to be frank, I was not a fan of the original Santro's awkward looks. Hyundai kept updating the car continuously - the Zip Plus was a very worthy engine upgrade and the Xing completely transformed car's looks. I've driven a variety of Santros for short distances, and the car's strengths become immediately obvious to anyone who gets behind the wheel. The front headroom is massive, the ingress/egress is very easy, sound insulation is very good and in some areas the Santro actually betters its successor, the i10. The front headroom is more, it had height adjustable neck restraints even at the front (until a couple of years back I think), the rear seat double-folded to create a big flat space, its hydraulic steering offers better feedback and the 1086cc engine feels peppier in the Santro. In fact, the Santro Xing's urban driveability remains unmatched in its class (naturally aspirated petrol engines upto 1.2 lit. capacity) to this very day - thanks to that long stroke, 3 valves per cylinder eRLX engine!

It would have been a tough decision for Hyundai India to end production of the Santro. It was still selling well and raking in the profits (thanks to depreciated machinery & part sharing). In CNG guise, the Santro also seems to have become the preferred choice for black-and-yellow taxi operators in cities like Mumbai. In fact, Hyundai could have chosen to continue to sell the Santro primarily to taxi operators (much like the DZire Tour & Indigo CS) and it would have still brought in sales of ~ 2000 units per month.

However, they decided to end its run and I think it's a wise decision. All good things have to eventually come to an end, and even cars that brought about a revolution in the market must make way for their successors. Hyundai India is operating at almost peak manufacturing capacity (99.8%) at its two plants currently, and new models would need either capacity expansion (which I heard isn't easy) at their current facilities or an additional plant (which requires time and a lot of investment).

Therefore, I think this decision was taken as a way of freeing up manufacturing capacity for new models in the shortest possible time. With the promising ix25, unnamed compact MPV and possibly the Sonata LF (apart from additional variants & facelifts) lined up for the future, I would not be surprised if they decide to discontinue even the old i10 during the course of the next financial year. Emotions apart, I think it is a pragmatic decision by Hyundai to discontinue older models and introduce new ones in order to ensure that their latest international models go on sale in India as soon as possible.

I predict the Santro Xing will become a much loved and sought after classic a decade or so down the line:

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Old 13th December 2014, 17:09   #56
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

The thread topic says it all, so having wondered if I should at all reply I thought of finally doing so for nostalgia sake.

Santro was the car I learnt to drive in, & eventually the Xing replaced our then family car the 800. At that point there was little doubt that this is the best decision as far as a small, fuel efficient family hatch went. The interiors were a huge improvement comparing with the competition. The steering was nice - sharp with ample feedback. The space was enough to carry 4 comfortably & the boot was spacious too due to its height. The Xing broke all records then when it came to practicality.. cup holders front, bottle holder in the back, retractable storage under the seat, sleeves in the seats etc. It had a few minuses which always irritated me even though I liked the car - for one because of the height it was by no means athletic and the engine itself while it leaped ahead eagerly from 0, it really slows down at 60-70 plus (with a.c). Yes it may be capable of triple digits (with a LOT of effort) but I just wished it had more torque at 40-70 which are realistic speeds in city. Also while the build quality and insulation was class leading, I still could get road noise climbing into the cabin in bad roads.

Hence 3 years on, a happy decision was made. The Getz replaced the Santro (formalities took less than 3 days from test drive to ownership). Getz was such a huge upgrade - the 1.3 engine, heavy build quality, excellent cornering & grip, precise stalks/buttons & a pin drop silent cabin- it felt like a world of change. Santro though, DID convince me to stick with the brand.

As we all say goodbye to the model we once owned, we must similarly hope that the brand gives us the same reasons to accept and enjoy the replacement they have had planned for it. I doubt Hyundai would let its buyers down.

Last edited by dark.knight : 13th December 2014 at 17:11.
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Old 15th January 2015, 09:51   #57
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Finally, it happens. Hyundai Santro Discontinued. Link.

Apparently, they are looking to create more capacity for Elite i20 and take the numbers upto 14,000 units per month for Elite.

A car which was helped by Fiat UNO IMO ( as the sentiment to have something other than Zen ), riding on wave of smart, sometimes aggressive marketing, now ceases to exist. The brand "Santro" still strong till the end of product life. An achievement only Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and a few others have achieved.
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Old 15th January 2015, 11:18   #58
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

A great achievement by Hyundai and a game changer for the face of the Indian car market, Kudo's to the company for creating the brand they did with this one. I remember when i started seeing these on the road's and thought - ugly , will never sell , boy was i horribly horribly off the mark..!
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Old 15th January 2015, 12:09   #59
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

I'm sad but not surprised. I'm sad because the Santro has been so reliable, and it has been a combination of affordable, reliabl, has nice features, was economical to own and aged well too. One of my friends had a Santro that he had just irresponsibly left sitting for 2 years gathering dust when he went to the US, and then we had to do minimal work (only battery and cleaning + fluids if I remember correctly) and it "just worked". Other Santros I know have been running for 10+ years without any hiccup. To me, Santro was the new Maruti 800. If they hadn't discontinued it, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one. Reliability and quality are so hard to find these days.
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Old 15th January 2015, 17:23   #60
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Default Re: Hyundai to end Santro production

Missing my Santro Xing(2004) a lot, which I sold 1.5 years back. When hunting around for a better model to shift to within the budget, I found myself considering Santro again! My parents convinced me that a change was still necessary, since we already had an i10 in the family. Hence I followed sgiitk and chose Brio. Frankly, I still miss the excellent pickup of Santro in high gears. Adios dear friend...
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