‘Santro’ emerges favourite in Hyundai’s name drive

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2018

Korean car-maker seeking suggestions for name of car due to debut in October

Nearly 30 per cent of respondents have pitched for ‘Santro’ as the name for Hyundai Motor India’s new family car, due to debut in early October.

The company had launched ‘Hyundai Naamkaran (Naming)’, an online campaign, on August 16, seeking suggestions from participants to christen the car which now goes under the codename ‘AH2’.

This campaign is being promoted across social media in a big way as well as in dealerships where customers can drop in their suggestions.

According to Puneet Anand, Senior General Manager and Group Head, Marketing, over 1.5 lakh replies have already come in with the number growing by the day. By the time the campaign draws to a close on September 15, the tally is expected to grow over three-fold to five lakh entries.

“It is clear that Santro has emerged the top favourite among respondents and takes up the single largest chunk of the entries received thus far,” Anand told BusinessLine.

Top-of-mind awareness

Santro, the ‘Tall Boy’ car, which was first launched way back in 1998, paved the way for the Korean automaker’s growth story here before it was yanked off the production lines in end-2014.

The response to the campaign clearly shows that Santro still has top-of-mind recall among prospective customers. Once all the entries are vetted by experts, there will be a draw on the names shortlisted. The winner will be gifted the AH2 by Hyundai’s brand ambassador, Shah Rukh Khan, along with the company’s Managing Director, YK Koo, at the October launch.

Shah Rukh has been associated with the company for 20 years now — he had been the face of Hyundai when it first set up shop in India. As brand ambassador of the Santro, he soon became synonymous with the car as it gradually grew from strength to strength.

“I miss the car, the name and thought. Of course, I understand and fully respect the fact that innovation has to come in and we need to cater to needs,” the Bollywood star told BusinessLine in a recent interview. “Maybe sometimes, the Big Boy has to back away to let the others shine and then make a comeback,” he added.

Anand said the AH2 has been positioned as the ‘Modern Tall Boy’, keeping with the times. Likewise, the ‘complete family car’ that epitomised the Santro now goes one step further as the ‘contemporary family car’ in AH2.

New kind of customer

As he explained, the customer of today is completely different from the preceding generation that queued up for the Santro.

Today, technology rules his/her life while levels of aspiration and affluence have also grown over the years. Hyundai, likewise, has evolved considerably from 1998 to a much stronger global player that is constantly pushing the envelope in styling, design and technology.

The AH2, for instance, will have the company’s in-house AMT (automated manual transmission), which has been developed in Korea. It has obviously been done keeping in mind that Indians are increasingly going beyond manual transmission but are still seeking a cost-effective automatic option.

October will see an all-new avatar for the Santro, which will hope to replicate its predecessor’s good run in India.

Published on August 28, 2018

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