Santro begins 2nd innings with eye on small towns

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Mumbai | Updated: November 25, 2018 5:09:33 AM

The new Santro competes with Maruti Suzuki's WagonR, Tata Tiago and Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio in the mid-compact segment.

The new Santro competes with Maruti Suzuki?s WagonR, Tata Tiago and Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio

Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) is relying on nostalgia with the recent relaunch of ‘Tall Boy’ Santro, a popular member of the HMIL family. Marketing efforts for the brand, returning to the market after a gap of around four years, began in July this year, flagged off by the Brilliant Moments campaign. The new Santro competes with Maruti Suzuki’s WagonR, Tata Tiago and Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio in the mid-compact segment.

Carrying the image of a ‘family car’, Santro is eyeing the smaller towns as well as rural areas. Says Puneet Anand, senior general manager and group head (marketing), HMIL: “As many as 65% of the customers who are buying Santro are first-time car buyers. The main thrust comes from tier 2-3 towns where people are upgrading from two to four wheelers due to easy availability of funds and growing aspirations.” The remaining 35% consumption is from buyers who are either exchanging their current cars or buying a second car for the family. This is largely in tier 1 towns. As per company data, of the current customer base across HMIL, over 40% customers come back to the company for exchange and upgrade. The opportunities that rural markets present are manifold.

Also read: 2018 Hyundai Santro Manual Review: The Indian small car icon is back with a bang!

To encourage the buying sentiment for Santro, HMIL has strategically placed 257 hoardings across rural areas. The company is also running pan-India mobile vans in such areas where videos featuring Shah Rukh Khan convey the marketing message. A big chunk of marketing efforts is focused on TV, print, OOH and activations. Digital is seeing 15% of spends with 65-70% of the marketing budget directed towards ATL, with the rest on OOH and activations. Anand explains, “Santro is meant for first-time car buyers and such buyers may not necessarily be heavy digital users.”

HMIL is also strongly energising its dealership network to support Santro’s re-entry in the market. In October, Santro claims to have delivered 8,535 cars and is sold out for four months hence. Pre-booking for Santro had begun on October 10. “By the end of the year, we should be able to clock sales of 24,000 to 25,000 cars,” Anand estimates.

Also read: 2018 Hyundai Santro VS Tata Tiago Interiors Compared: Which family hatch is better?

HMIL’s overall production capacity for 2019 is 7.5 lakh for domestic and export market. So can Santro bank on the nostalgia factor? Brand consultant Samit Sinha of Alchemist Brand Consulting says, “Hyundai’s Santro still enjoys residual nostalgia having been in the market for so long.

When the Santro was first launched, with all the bells and whistles, it gave people an opportunity beyond the Maruti Suzuki 800.”

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