September, 1998. Then-unknown brand called Hyundai enters into the Indian autosphere and becomes a renowned name overnight after global premiere of a small car known as Santro; a car that was not only developed for India but also geared up to comply with stringent European regulations. It brought the first multi-valve engine as well as a semi-automatic transmission, as India’s first on any small car. September, 2013. History repeats itself. Same Korean brand makes global-premiere of a small car known as Grand i10; a car not only developed for India but also geared up to comply with stringent European regulations. It has brought a few first in class features as well as much desired diesel engine in company’s compact hatchback portfolio. Ironically, a fact that too remains unchanged is the market position, which Hyundai continues to struggle to snatch from its chief competitor, Maruti Suzuki.
It won’t be wrong to mention that Santro proved no less than a good luck charm for Hyundai. Its successor, i10, that arrived during 2007 immediately swapped as a flagship model in terms of numbers. 5 Years later, company launched second generation i10 after realizing need of an overhaul in this fast-paced market. Time to say hello to Grand i10. Targeted in ‘compact high’ segment to allure individuals from 25 – 35 Years of age group, Grand i10 is strategically slotted between former i10 and i20 in India. Out of 6,50,000 units manufactured at plant near Chennai, 2,50,000 units of this car will be exported to markets including Europe, Africa and Australia. The major factor differentiating Indian version from European is a bonus 100 millimeter length and larger rear windshield area. It’s been three months since the launch of Grand i10 as I write this and it has already found a position in top 5 sellers chart. Does Hyundai have another winner in its hands?