Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Hyundai Motor India Ltd is India’s second-largest passenger car manufacturer with a 17.6% market share as of FY2020 (Source). It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Company headquartered in South Korea. Hyundai Motor India Limited was formed on 6th May 1996 and was an unknown brand in India at that time. While Hyundai entered India there were only five major automobile manufacturers in India, i.e. Maruti, Hindustan, Premier, Tata and Mahindra. Daewoo too had entered the Indian market with Cielo just three years back while Ford, Opel and Honda had entered less than a year back. Hyundai's brand value was much lower than the likes of Ford, Honda, Toyota which entered the Indian market in a similar timeline. However; Hyundai had one big advantage when compared to other new entrants. That was Hyundai’s understanding about the Indian market and obviously its launch model – The Santro.
We shall explain through the Lifecycle Analysis on how the Hyundai Models made the brand it's today –
1. Discontinued Models:
Hyundai Santro (Oct’98 to Dec’15) –
Though the Santro nameplate is still alive in India; we have bifurcated Sales of 1st & 2nd generation in the list of discontinued models as it was derived from the Atos Prime model while the third generation is practically a standalone model.
The Hyundai Santro was launched on 23 September 1998 and was a runaway success! Within a few months of its inception; HMIL became the second-largest automobile manufacturer and the largest automobile exporter in India thanks to the model.
The first generation Santro was also sold in Europe as the Atos Prime and in South Korea and Indonesia as the Kia Visto. It was known as the Santro Zip in India from 1998 to 2006 and has been India’s one of the best selling models in its time.
After the Kia Visto was replaced by the Kia Picanto in 2004 globally, the Santro was launched in its second generation avatar in 2003. While the 2003 facelift was marketed as part of the first generation, Hyundai India has produced the 2003 Santro as a second generation model with tweaks to the car platform, and new features. It was known as the Santro Xing in India from 2003 to 2015.
The sales trend for the Santro is plotted here for reference –
Santro saw its sales peak in 2006-07 and it was in mid of its lifecycle. Even during the end of its lifecycle, it was selling decent numbers – It sold over 36k units in the last 12 months with an average of 3,054 units/mth.
Hyundai Accent (Nov’19 to Sep’13) – It was primarily the global second generation model that was launched in India in October 1999 as the “Accent” and was still in production after some minor facelifts; the car was phased out in Sep 2013. Accent future led way to the inception of Verna both globally and in India. Rather the third-generation Accent was termed ‘Verna’. In India; both Accent and the costlier Verna were sold together!
Hyundai Sonata (July’01 to Dec’14) – The model sold 9,541 units in the 14 years it existed in India. The model sold in India was fourth & fifth-generation models.
Hyundai i10 (Oct’07 to Dec’16) – The i10 replaced the Hyundai Atos in the global model line-up. The second generation of the car was presented in August 2013 and released at the beginning of 2014. The first generation i10 had its world premiere on 31 October 2007, in New Delhi, India. The car was targeted primarily at the Indian market and intended for production in India, given the popularity of hatchback subcompacts in the country and was also intended to replace the Santro.
Hyundai Eon (Sep’11 to Nov’18) – The Eon was designed jointly between the Hyundai R&D centers in Namyang, South Korea, and Hyderabad, India. In August 2018, Hyundai announced that the Eon would be discontinued as the car was not compliant with new safety regulations that will be implemented in October 2019 and the Bharat Stage VI emissions regulations that will be enforced in April 2020. Its replacement, the third generation Santro, had been released before the festive season of 2018.
Hyundai Getz (Sep’04 to Apr’10) – The model was manufactured in the Hyundai Motor India factory in between 2004 and 2009. It sold 71,882 units in the 68 months of its sales in India.
Hyundai Terracan (Aug’04 to Nov’06) – The model actually featured a chassis derived from the second-generation Mitsubishi Pajero!
2. Models currently on Sale in India:
Hyundai Aura (Jan’20 till date) – It is a sedan based on the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, and was designed primarily for the Indian market. It is the successor to the Hyundai Xcent, a different nameplate is used as the Xcent continued in production mainly for fleet and commercial customers. The Aura was launched on 21st January 2020 in India.
Hyundai Venue (May’19 till date) – The Venue is Hyundai’s smallest crossover! It fits below the Hyundai Kona in Hyundai’s international lineup and below the Hyundai Creta in India and other markets where the Creta is sold. The Venue was launched on May 21, 2019 in India and occupies the sub 4-meter SUV category, benefitting from the Indian tax benefits for cars shorter than 4 meters.
Hyundai Kona (June’19 till date) – In the year 2019, Hyundai launched an Electric Lite version as Kona Electric in India. It was India’s first electric SUV!
Hyundai New Santro (Oct’18 till date) – Santro marque single handedly made Hyundai as India’s second biggest car manufacturer. While the nameplate was discontinued in 2015; Hyundai revived it in 2018 to cash on the brand. It would also mark 20 years for the nameplate in India and the brand was so revered that even a stamp was released in India!
Hyundai Creta (June’15 to date) – The Creta is sold in the Indian market since 2015 and has been the country’s best-selling Mid-SUV since then. Initially intended for the Indian market, the Creta was launched subsequently in China and Russia. It is manufactured by Beijing Hyundai, Hyundai India (from 2015), Hyundai Brazil, Hyundai Rus and Algeria’s TMC (from 2016), but not marketed in Europe. The model was based on the Hyundai–Kia platform that underpins the Kia Soul, Hyundai i30, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Cee’d / Seltos.
Hyundai Xcent (Mar’14 till date) – The Xcent was launched on March 12th 2014, to compete with the Tata Zest, Honda Amaze and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. The Xcent is currently sold alongside the Aura as fleet sales only.
Hyundai Grand i10 (Aug’13 till date) – It slotted between the first generation i10, which was continued to be manufactured for the Indian market, and the i20. The third generation i10 was unveiled in India on 7 August 2019 as the Grand i10 Nios. It was launched on 20 August 2019 and offered in 10 variants across petrol and diesel engines as well as manual and automatic transmissions.
Hyundai i20 (Dec’08 till date) – The i20 replaced the Getz in nearly all of Hyundai’s markets. The i20 used a completely new platform that was created at Hyundai’s European technical centre in Rüsselsheim to allow Hyundai to move into Europe’s highly competitive subcompact B segment. The second-generation i20 was launched in August 2014 in India as the Elite i20. It eventually won the 2015 Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY) in December 2014. The model has been one of the best-selling premium hatchbacks in India right since its inception.
Hyundai Elantra (Apr’04 till date) – The global third-generation model was launched in 2004. The model sales have been extremely slow since launch and even the latest 6th gen model couldn’t bring volumes. In fact, it sold just 692 units in FY2020.
Hyundai Verna (Sep’06 till date) – It was nothing but the third generation Accent. However; it fared much better than the Accent and could fare in the list of best-selling Executive Sedans even as on date. The current model is the fifth-generation model (of Accent).