Hyundai is the second largest carmaker in India. The South Korean brand has a fair share of the Indian market and they have launched quite a few cars here. Not all of them became super successful. We bring you ten Hyundai cars that very few people remember now.
Tucson (first generation)
The Tucson badge in India is not new. Hyundai launched the first generation of the SUV in India in 2005. Back then, the Tucson was one of India’s first luxury soft-roaders, and the market was just not ready for it. Hyundai finally discontinued the car even as global markets received the second generation of the Tucson. Hyundai skipped a generation to launch the all-new, third generation Tucson earlier this year.
Elantra (fourth generation)
Hyundai tried offering the premium Elantra in India way back in 2004. However, the market wasn’t ready to look beyond the Toyota Corolla, a car that has a much stronger brand presence. The overall rounded design also did not help the cause of the third generation Elantra which was discontinued in 2010. Now though, Hyundai sells an all-new Elantra, which is doing quite well.
The premium Hyundai Sonata Embera was launched in 2004 when Hyundai was exploring the higher segments in India. It was the fifth generation of the vehicle in global markets. The Sonata Embera was launched way ahead of its time in India and it was also exported from here. Not many people remember the Embera because of its limited sales during the course of fours years.
At one point, the Sonata Gold was Hyundai’s flagship offering in India. It’s Jaguar-like appearance did turn more than a few heads but the car had to take on some very stiff Japanese competition – the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. Even Shahrukh Khan’s association could not push the sales of the Sonata Gold in India and it was finally discontinued in 2005.
Hyundai also launched the sixth generation of the Sonata in India too but the car is no longer being manufactured here. The Fluidic Sonata was launched in 2012 with a sticker price of more than Rs. 18 lakhs. The market did not respond well to the new generation after which the car was discontinued.
Hyundai launched a luxury SUV – the Terracan – in India during 2003. The premium SUV was regarded as the torque king in India. The 2.9-litre turbocharged engine of the Terracan produced a maximum power of 148 Bhp and a humongous torque of 343 Nm. However, this was a time when the Fortuner segment didn’t even exist in India. Carving out something new was quite hard, and Hyundai quickly gave up.
Hyundai launched the mid-size hatchback Getz in India in 2004. The Getz was known for its space and its stonker of a diesel engine. The 1.5-litre diesel engine of the Getz produced a maximum of 110 Bhp – 235 Nm. The hatchback can still be found in the garages of many enthusiasts but the mass-market has more or less forgotten it.
The Viva was unique as it was the only notchback offered in India at that time. The Viva was based on the popular Accent model and was targeted at customers who were enthusiasts at heart. The Viva was marketed as a sporty vehicle but anything focused towards enthusiasts doesn’t work well in India. The Viva had to bow out fast.
Santa Fe (second generation)
Hyundai launched the second generation Santa Fe in India in 2010. The premium SUV was imported to the Indian market and carried a hefty price tag, which was much more than that of market-leader – Toyota Fortuner. Sales never took off.
Santa Fe (third generation)
Hyundai also launched the latest generation Santa Fe in India, and it looked completely different from the older model. Sadly, the model failed to put a decent number on the sales chart despite being one of the most powerful SUVs in its class. Hyundai discontinued the Santa Fe in India earlier this year.
Source – 3, 4