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Old 6th January 2016, 19:37   #1
RSR
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Default Hyundai Xcent to get new base variant for taxi market

Autocar India reports that Hyundai is planning to launch "a taxi special" variant of the Xcent soon.

This variant will be positioned below the current Base variant of Xcent, which is already being sold to fleet operators. It will get even less features compared to the Base variant, such as silver-painted wheels & hub caps (instead of black-painted ones with full wheel caps). Anti-lock Braking System (which is a standard feature on the Xcent) is also likely to be given a miss on the taxi variant, in order to make the car available to cab buyers at a very competitive price.

The mechanical package will remain unaltered and the variant will have two engines on offer - the 83 PS 4-cylinder 1197cc Kappa petrol & 72 PS 3-cylinder 1120 CRDi diesel. The petrol engine will be offered with a CNG kit to enable the Xcent taxi to be sold in cities that mandate the use of CNG for transport vehicles.

Pictured below is the current Base variant, with black (unpainted) ORVMs and door handles. The new variant is set to lose some features such as the full wheel caps pictured below (image courtesy - RushLane):

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I think Hyundai are determined to have a share of the pie in a rapidly expanding fleet segment (thanks to app-based aggregators like Uber & Ola). Maruti Suzuki have had tremendous success with the taxi special DZire Tour, which has eroded the share of traditional taxi operator favourites in the C1 sedan segment.

Along with the new taxi special variant of Xcent, I think they also need to position the old i10 (with a CNG/LPG kit) as an exclusive city cab, and discontinue sales to private buyers.

For private buyers, Grand i10 with the 1.0 litre Kappa petrol motor in more variants (this is available only in a single LPG+petrol dual fuel variant now) can fill the void created by exit of the old i10.

Last edited by RSR : 6th January 2016 at 19:54.
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Old 6th January 2016, 20:12   #2
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Default Re: Car makers tapping fleet taxi space to push sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSR View Post
that Hyundai is planning to launch "a taxi special" variant of the Xcent soon.

This variant will be positioned below the current Base variant of Xcent, which is already being sold to fleet operators. It will get even less features compared to the Base variant, such as silver-painted wheels & hub caps (instead of black-painted ones with full wheel caps). Anti-lock Braking System (which is a standard feature on the Xcent) is also likely to be given a miss on the taxi variant, in order to make the car available to cab buyers at a very competitive price.
This variant is already launched. Today I saw one such car in Mumbai without full wheel caps, and this is the exact thought which crossed my mind. I was about to ask this on the forum, then I saw this post.

But, I have my doubts as to whether the Xcent will be able to handle the abuse thrown at it by the cabbies. It does not feel robust enough to handle all that abuse. However, this is only my gut feeling after half a year of owning one. If I am proved wrong, I will be more than happy!
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Old 6th January 2016, 20:26   #3
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In fact, the models that are a 'proven hit' with taxi segment are a safe bet to own as private vehicles, if "reliability" is priority over looks, safety and brand aspiration value.

Take example of successful taxi models - Qualis, Innova, Etios, Dzire, Logan, verito, Sumo, Tavera, Trax, Ambassador, indica, indigo and even Teana (Uber lux hotels).

All of the above models don't add to owner's pride but certainly crunch lacs of miles effortlessly.

Last edited by GTO : 8th January 2016 at 12:59. Reason: Language
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Old 8th January 2016, 11:09   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent to get new base variant for taxi market

Hyundai Xcent to get new base variant for taxi market - posts moved to a new thread.
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Old 8th January 2016, 12:45   #5
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent to get new base variant for taxi market

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSR View Post
Anti-lock Braking System (which is a standard feature on the Xcent) is also likely to be given a miss on the taxi variant, in order to make the car available to cab buyers at a very competitive price.
Instead of skipping on safety features Hyundai should put a smaller engine like perhaps the 1.0 kappa from the i10. This would give a significant saving and provide margins to include proper safety features. Moreover, a smaller engine would deliver better FE too. Performance is the least priority for a taxi.
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Old 8th January 2016, 13:04   #6
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Default Re: Hyundai Xcent to get new base variant for taxi market

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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
But, I have my doubts as to whether the Xcent will be able to handle the abuse thrown at it by the cabbies. It does not feel robust enough to handle all that abuse.
When a 20 year old design like the Santro can survive as a cab, I see no reason why the better built Xcent cannot. This is hardly a concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
Instead of skipping on safety features
In an ideal world, all taxis would have ABS, ESP & 8 airbags. However, Hyundai is merely going along with market realities in the extremely price sensitive taxi segment.

Quote:
Hyundai should put a smaller engine like perhaps the 1.0 kappa from the i10.
The 1.0 engine from the Eon? The car will struggle, especially if cabbies further add CNG to it.

Plus, it's easier / cheaper / more efficient for Hyundai to launch a base variant of an existing car than a new engine + car combination.
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