Hyundai is currently considering replacing the Santro Xing here. However, the Korean carmaker doesn't want to deviate from the popular and space-efficient ‘tall-boy’ design formula.
Reports say, Hyundai is studying the feasibility of launching the Kia Ray in India. Kia Motors is Hyundai’s sister company that sells cars in many global markets, although it's not yet present in India. Also, the Kia Ray is sold exclusively in Korea at present. However, it fits the ‘tall-boy’ brief perfectly and comes closest to matching the Santro’s ‘tall-boy’ concept. As of now, the Ray is sold in Korea with a 105bhp, 998cc petrol motor but if this model were to come to India, it would most likely to be powered by Hyundai’s 1.2 litre Kappa engine.
However, launching a Kia product in India has its own set of complications. Despite being sister brands, Hyundai and Kia are rivals and there are rumours that Kia has been considering entering the Indian market alongside Hyundai in which case it would keep the Ray to itself. If the Ray were to be sold with a Hyundai badge, Kia is likely to charge Hyundai a hefty royalty which may make the Ray’s pricing uncompetitive.
It’s difficult to predict if and when the Ray would make it to Indian showrooms but what’s clear is that Hyundai eventually will have to discontinue the Santro in favour of more modern products
It’s been 15 years since the original Hyundai Santro was launched in India and though the entry-level hatchback still continues to find buyers, it is getting a bit long in the tooth now and a replacement is long overdue.