“New Thinking, New Possibilities”. This is what drives Hyundai and makes it a globally renowned brand. Hyundai is known to be one of the top carmakers in the country. When Hyundai entered India, there were companies like Maruti Suzuki, Premier, Hindustan Motors, Tata and Mahindra which had a monopoly over the market. What made Hyundai takeover with such finesse? What makes it the country’s largest exporter in the automobile industry? Let’s have a look at the history Hyundai Motors India has tread on to reach the position it is in now.
1996: An unknown international brand sets afoot at our shores
Hyundai Motors India, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea came to India in 1996. There was one objective, to make new possibilities for the Indian customers. Company’s first plant was set up in Tamil Nadu on 6th May 1996. Things were beginning to take shape. A new entrant was soon going to storm the automobile sector in India.
1998: Hyundai Motors Launches It’s First Car
We all are well familiar with this car. If you thought of Santro, we are in total sync. Hyundai Santro was the first car to be launched by the company. It became a massive hit and gave the rivals run for their money. The hatchback became a sudden favourite of the buyers across the country.
Being the first car from the carmaker, Indian customers were really thrilled as the design elements of the Santro were different from what usual hatchbacks used to look like at that time. This car was so popular after the inception that Hyundai became second-largest carmaker in the country and first largest exporter. The car has got major facelifts and upgrades since then and is still in production.
1999: Hyundai Accent, the sedan entry of Hyundai
Indian automotive industry was flooded with cars due to the liberalisation. There were hatchbacks, SUVs and sedans from different carmakers in the market. The huge success of Santro led the company to launch its globally known sedan, the Accent in India in 1999. This car too rewrote the success the Santro had achieved in the Indian market.
2001: The Ultra Luxury Sedan Is Launched
Not every car promoted by Sharukh Khan became famous. Made for the elite class, Sonata was a powerful car too. The car came loaded with features such as power steering, power windows, electrically adjustable mirrors, ABS, premium upholstery and much more. Powered by a 2.4-litre MPFi Petrol engine which could make 165hp of power and a peak torque of 236Nm, the luxury had a new name in the market. But again rivals faired over it. Racing against Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, Sonata Gold lost.
The company then tried by launching another generation of Sonata, the Embera. But what the company was not able to understand was the consumer trends at that time. Being powerful and ultra-luxurious, Sonata Embera was the most exorbitant Hyundai at that time. Thus, it met the same fate its sibling dealt with earlier.
2003: A new name in the SUV segment
Hyundai Terracan was introduced in 2003 in India. This is what was wrong with Terracan. It’s all about timing. Being way ahead of its time, the SUV was not able to attract customers. Powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine which produced 148hp of power and 343Nm of torque. This was accompanied by and All-Wheel-Drive(AWD) system all on a ladder frame chassis. The design also was futuristic. The SUV was a complete package as luxury and power all came along with it.
2004 – Hyundai Getz | The Global Ride Is Here
Hyundai launched a 5-door hatchback in 2004 named Getz. At that time, you would have had to spend around ₹4.5lakhs only to buy one. It was put up against the likes of Maruti Suzuki WagonR and Alto. Amongst the hatches, Getz was the most powerful and feature-packed one. It was powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine capable of producing 82hp of power and 115Nm of torque. The company had a great start with the Getz but with the constantly growing competition led to low sales gradually. With a very dull response from the market, Hyundai decided to take off the Getz from the picture in 2011. But this was not the end of premium hatchbacks from the company. Hyundai introduced one of the most premium hatchbacks, i20 to fill in the void left by Getz.
Here is the list of some other models from Hyundai that have been launched in India.
The first-gen Hyundai Tucson, which was inspired by 2004 Kia Sportage, was not at all able to please the Indian people. Based on the Elantra’s platform, the SUV was powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine which churned out 139hp of power and a torque of 184Nm. Although being a mild-powerful for that time, the looks were the major cause of the non-selling performance of the spirit of the adventure. The high price added fuel to fire. Later, it was updated to meet the Indian audience. But still, Tucson has not been able to make a mark in the market. Although Hyundai is planning to launch a new generation next year. Click here to read more about the Hyundai Tucson 2021.
This hatchback was launched in 2007 in India. The name has been prominently known across India. It was further replaced by the current Grand i10 which is still selling like hotcakes in the hatchback market.
The premium hatchback which was a successor to Getz was launched in 2008. Hyundai i20 is the second most popular car from Hyundai only behind the Santro.
The increasing popularity of sub-4-metre sedans in India led to Hyundai to add a boot to the Grand i10 and launched it under the name of Xcent. This compact sedan became popular especially in the taxi segment due to high fuel efficiency, comfort and decent performance.
A good read: What are Compact Cars (Sub-4-Meter Cars) and why size matters?
Hyundai Aura was launched rather recently in January 2020. The Aura replaced the Xcent as the new sub-compact sedan. The Hyundai Aura is based on the company’s K1 platform which certainly is the most budget-friendly platform and underpins the likes on the grand i10 Nios. The aura turns out to be a compact sedan and besides certain differences in details both the models are near identical. Some of the commonly shared features of its hatchback sibling include its dashboard, control layout and the switch gears.
This compact SUV was launched back in 2015 and has been a big hit in the segment, making its way to the top of segment many times. Recently, Creta got a new generation in 2020. You can have a look at the all-new Creta here.
It was the first BS6 car to be launched by the company. Being perfectly balanced in terms of performance, design and price, Venue became a huge success from the very beginning. Click here for some details about the Hyundai Venue.
It was the first-ever electric car from the company and the first fully electric SUV of India was the Kona Electric which was launched back in 2019. The company has seen a great appreciation, especially from the government officials as the Kona Electric is a reliable and greener alternative. But with the EV segment still in early stages, Kona has not seen a surge in the sales number.
Tata Nexon EV vs MG ZS EV vs Hyundai Kona Electric: Detailed Comparison
Hyundai India: Awards
Cars from Hyundai have been prominent ones in the Indian market. They are reliable and safer than rivals for sure. Here is the list of cars that have one the famous Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY) with the year of winning.
- i10 – 2008
- Grand i10 – 2014
- Elite i20 – 2015
- Creta – 2016
- Verna – 2018
- Venue – 2020
Hyundai Motors India has become the largest carmaker in terms of export and the second largest in terms of domestic sales in India. Although the slump and lockdown have affected the sales of each and every carmaker, the popularity of Hyundai seems to have no bounds in the near future too. What are your thoughts on the path Hyundai has tread in India? Let us know in the comments section below.
Also read: 10 Forgotten Hyundai Cars In India | From Getz To Sonata
now hyundai cars are not safer than the there rivals in fact maruti cars are more safer than the hyundai cars