History & Marketing Strategies of Hyundai Santro

Company Name- Santro
Founder- Chung Ju Yung

The Hyundai Santro is a city car produced by the South Korean manufacturer. Chung Ju Yung eventually became one of the world’s richest men. The introductory price for Hyundai Santro was 3.89 lakh.

How It All Started

The South Korean manufacturer manufactured the Hyundai between 1997 and 2014 and again exclusively in India, since 2018. The “Santro” nameplate was applies during its first two generations to the ATOS model while the third generation is a standalone model.

In 1946, Chung started Hyundai Civil industries in anticipation of the post war reconstruction and industrialisation. After winning, the major government contracts and became responsible for building much of South Korea’s transportation infrastructure and manufactured “Santro.”


The first generation of Santro was launched in 1998 and runs up to 2005. The second generation of it was launched 2005 and runs up to the year 2014. The third generation was launched on 23rd October 2018 in India.

This marks the return of the Santro nameplate in India after four years since the last generation was discontinued and nearly twenty-five years since the start of production. Less than a month after its releases, the Santro sold 8,535 units. The Santro got listed in the “Top 10 Cars” list in India, at the 10th place in December 2018.


Santro’s Marketing Strategy and Interesting Reasons behind Its Success

Hyundai was planned at that time to launch a C-segment car but changed the strategy and launched Santro in tough small car market. It studied the nature of the customer and then launched car for B-segment. The main competitor of Hyundai was Maruti Suzuki’s brand ZEN, in Indian market. The biggest issue at the time of launch of Santro was that the Indians were unsure about the Korean products specially automobiles.

Hyundai was designed firstly the Santro as a tall boy car but later on it was found that Indians don’t like tall boy model then they manufacture the city car for Indian consumers like Santro. Hyundai launched Santro car for B-segment and Accent car for C-segment.

It targeted 35-45 years people of middle class in India. With the passage of time, Hyundai targeted youth and launched Santro Xing in the year 2003. The company always kept the customer at the centre of the universe through not just making great cars but also by delivering an experience.

In the run up to launch of Santro, Hyundai motor India decided to base its strategic architecture around the nostalgia attached with the first edition of their immensely popular model. Santro being a symbol of upward mobility, innovative technology and features and a harbinger of celebrations is one’s life. The rugged look of the car was an instant hit.

The manufacturing process forces trend analysis future projections vision strategy formulation strategic elements segment.   


Santro Campaign

The first as introduced the brand and the company with the subtle statement: We settle only for the best, which convinced the market to believe that Hyundai is serious about India. Finally came the launch ad, which showed the Indian consumer saying “I am convinced”. For entering in to the Indian market, Company hired ad agency ‘Saatchi & Saatchi’.

The brand ambassador of Santro was “Shahrukh Khan.” The new launch campaign by innocean worldwide displays why the second coming of Santro gives India reasons to celebrate. The campaign ‘Brilliant Moments with Hyundai’ was launched elicited great response from people in the form of evocative stories with their Hyundai cars. In which the 60% of response was anecdotal stories around Santro.

The primary strategic motive behind this campaign was to tap into the nostalgia and the goodwill people had for Santro.  The ‘Naamkaran’ campaign invited Indian families all over the country to name their new upcoming compact car. 60% of participants of the campaign wanted the Santro to comeback.

20 years after the launch of original Santro, the new car was followed by a sneak preview of the car with pre-launch campaign that announced for the first time in India. The big impact campaign that is visible on all the prominent channels and dailies along with a robust digital presence, exhibits how Santro is India’s car. 

The campaign seamlessly integrates the above-par technological advancements in the product even as it exudes warmth in a middle-class family context for which the first car is one of the most important decision they ever make. The nickname of Hyundai Santro is ‘Sunshine car’, drove past the horizon at the company’s manufacturing unit in Chennai. The brand ambassador of Sunshine car campaign was Priety Zinta.

Promotional activities are also being organised along with local celebrities in rural areas. The mobile vans spread the news of the resurrected Hyundai Santro in smaller markets. It is presented in five variants, petrol, and CNG options.



Hyundai launched the B-segment cars after studying the acquire potential to satisfy needs of the customers. Launched in the midst of festivities and a season of familial warmth, the Santro became the anticipated family member that India was set to welcome it with open arms.  The people of India share a special kinship with Hyundai because of Santro. Its mass musicality and wide canvas make it usually for the brand Santro. The impressive tally was around 19 lakh units made in India become Hyundai’s most popular car. 

The Santro not only enabled Hyundai to set a foot on Indian shore but also helped it to achieve the status of household name in India. They manufacture car, which suits Indian roads and Indian consumer tastes and also increase rural demands. The segment of cars includes mix of classic models and Santro is the perfect one who meets the need of the customer. 

Hyundai products are not as cost effective since it does not compromise on its quality and so as Santro. The engineers certified the car by using 147 checkpoints to give a good quality used cars to Indian consumers. The manufacturers have become an Indian brand due to its long time presence in the Indian market.    

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