‘There’s no business like the car business!’
Within months of its launch in late 1998, with every well-known
global automobile brand jockeying for a foothold in a small-car
market almost monopolized by Maruti Udyog Limited, Hyundai
Motor India’s debut production, the Santro, emerged as a force to
reckon with. The first car to be conceptualized and designed for –
and then developed and manufactured in – India, the ‘Sunshine
Car’ has, over a period of sixteen years, set the record for the
quickest small car brand to go from zero to one million units sold.
It achieved profitability for Hyundai at an unprecedented speed and
made an impressive global impact as a made-in-India automobile
in markets as diverse as Algeria and Zimbabwe, Western Europe
and North America.
In Santro: The Car That Built a Company, BVR Subbu, who
spearheaded much of the Santro’s success, reveals the hitherto untold
story of how this small car made such a big impact. Vivid anecdotes
detail the challenges of introducing a new product in a new market,
the canny business strategies that were employed to get the better of
rival brands, the unforgettable marketing campaigns that made all
the difference – and the thrills of the high-stakes power battles and
everyday drama that characterize corporate India.
By turns revelatory, insightful and delightfully engaging, this is a
business story with a difference about a car like no other.