The last batch of the Hyundai Santro will be rolled out by the end of November, while the Chevrolet Spark production will end in December. Both of the models were instrumental in setting up a brand identity for their manufacturers in the country.
Undoubtedly one of the most recognized manufacturers in the country, Hyundai India will finally put a stop to the production of the Santro in the last week of November this year, the model that established the automaker as a successful small car manufacturer in India. Along with Hyundai, General Motors India is also preparing to pull the plug off the Chevrolet Spark from the domestic market that originally started life as a Daewoo Matiz in the country. Both the models were instrumental for their manufacturers to gain ground and momentum into the then very nascent Indian auto market.
Established under the leadership of Mr. BVR Subbu, former president Hyundai India, the Santro was a game changer for the company that instantaneously gained approval from the masses. One of the first to challenge Maruti’s rein in the segment, the South Korean manufacturer was able to break-even within 7 months of launch courtesy of the exceptional demand. While the management were aiming to sell around 1,00,000 units in 5 years, Hyundai ended up selling over 1 million units in 7 years. Industry experts also suggest that the Santro took the India auto market evolution to an all-new level, similar to what the Maruti 800 did in the 1980s. The company sold over 1.36 million units of the Santro in India, while 5,35,000 units were exported overseas.
Not only on product level, but the after sales and services were carefully thought of. At that time, Hyundai dealerships were equipped with a quality paintshop, something unheard of among the competition. The automaker also adopted the concept sourcing one part from one vendor, thereby not relying on multiple sources for a single component. Despite the newer lineup in the company’s portfolio, the Santro still manages to be one of Hyundai’s consistent sellers averaging 2900 units per month, with little effort. However, the company now wants to free up space at its facility to cater the demand for the newer and equally hot selling models like the Grand i10, Xcent and Elite i20.
Coming to the Chevrolet Spark, the model started on a good run at the time of launch but steamed out over the last few years. The Spark originally started life as the Daewoo Matiz, but was given a revamp after GM took over the Daewoo portfolio. The automaker managed to sell 1,65,000 units of the Spark manufactured from its Talegaon facility in the past 7 years since launch. While a Spark replacement is nowhere in sight from GM, the model will continue to live under the Beat nameplate that essentially is the next generation Spark, sold simultaneously in the country. For the Santro too, the model was succeeded by the i10 and now the Grand i10 in the country.
Source – Economic Times