Launched less than a year ago the new Hyundai Santro is carrying a consumer offer of Rs 40,000. The car, which was supposed to become a runaway hit, was the worse hit by the slowdown. The Santro is offered with petrol and petrol+CNG option (Image: Hyundai India)
India's second largest car maker Hyundai is thinking of temporarily halting new bookings for the Santro, as the waiting period for the car has extended to more than three months.
The 'tall-boy' hatchback has seen cumulative bookings swell to 32,000 units since its launch on October 10. Hyundai is looking to increase production of the Santro to meet demand, but is restricted by limited room at its plant in Chennai.
Before launching the Santro, the company said it expects to sell 8,000-10,000 units of the car per month. But the current trend is way more than what it had expected.
"There was a discussion of taking a temporary pause in bookings because of the overwhelming demand. It has not been finalized yet," a source told Moneycontrol.
The last time an automotive company had to halt fresh bookings due to heightened demand was when Toyota had launched the new Fortuner in 2010.
Hyundai has been forced to stop producing the Eon in order to make way for the Santro. The Eon is Hyundai's entry-level model and the company sells an average of 4,200 units of the car in a month. So far, Hyundai has delivered 8,000 units of the Santro.
Current buying trends for the Santro’s variants have been exactly as predicted by the company. While nearly one in three units sold of the Santro are for the automatic manual transmission (AMT) variant, 21 percent of the booked orders are for the compressed natural gas (CNG) one.
Santro’s AMT is also the first to be developed by an original equipment manufacturer in-house. Both Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors also offer it but both their AMTs are sourced from a supplier.
The high demand for Santro has had an effect on its rivals. Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, for instance, recorded its lowest sales in 16 months in October. Tata Tiago’s sales dipped to a five month-low during the same month.
Hyundai has promised a freeze on Santro's prices for the first 50,000 units, after which it may consider increasing them, given the way the rupee has depreciated in recent times.
Built on the Grand i10 platform, the Santro is powered by a 1.1 litre, 4-cylider petrol engine that generates peak power of 69 PS. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission and Hyundai claims a fuel efficiency of 20.3 km/litre for the car.