Hyundai’s entry-level hatchback Santro Xing has been crying for a replacement, and it appears Hyundai could bring in the Kia RAY hatchback to fill up the vacuum. The report comes from Autocar India, and throws up an interesting insight.
The Santro Xing was launched in India 15 years ago, but it still continues to set the cash registers ringing. However, Hyundai does accept the fact that it cannot keep flogging the Santro horse for much longer, and it eventually has to be replaced by more modern options. The Santro had a selling formula based on affordability and spaciousness.
To keep those propositions intact, Hyundai doesn’t want to deviate from the Tall-Boy design formula. The said formula is a design philosophy that combines compact proportions and space efficiency in a hatchback. Picture the Maruti-Suzuki WagonR, and you would get what we are trying to say.
Herein comes the Kia RAY. Kia is a sister-brand of Hyundai, and the RAY is one of their entry-level hatchbacks utilizing the Tall-Boy design theme. Though Kia is not present in India, it appears Hyundai could consider the Kia RAY as a replacement for the Santro Xing. The Kia RAY is sold in Korea with a 998 cc petrol engine that makes 105 bhp. If sold in India, the probable powerplant could be Hyundai’s 1.2 Litre Kappa engine.
But is it all rosy-and-cosy between both the sister brands? Naah…
Rumours do suggest that Kia is even considering making an Indian foray without the assistance of Hyundai. Needless to mention, they would like to keep the RAY hatchback for themselves. If Hyundai still wants to go ahead with the Kia RAY as the Santro replacement, it would have to shell out mega-bucks as royalty payment to Kia. That, in turn, would render the Kia RAY’s pricing unviable in the tough Indian market. And the battle will be lost even before it has started.
As the sisters slug it out over branding and identity issues, why don’t you let us know if you like the design of the Kia RAY hatchback?
Source – Autocar India