Hyundai Accent sedan, along with the original Santro hatchback were the models with which the South Korean manufacturer made its debut in India back in 1999. The Accent sedan has been a success story for Hyundai, which over the years was the automaker's answer to Maruti Suzuki Esteem, Honda City, the Cielo, Ford Ikon, Fiat Siena and other cars from the segment.
But after 14 long years of existence the Accent is now too old to compete with a modern breed of sedans and hatchbacks. Sales in recent years have been poor and fast declining. A senior Hyundai official has now informed Livemint that Accent production for Indian market has been stopped.
Besides the age and low sales numbers, the other reason for the decision is the planned introduction of a new hatchback model. "We will be launching our small car both in petrol and diesel variants. The move to phase out Accent is taken in that direction," the official stated.
The said hatchback will be brand new model that will be placed between the i10 and i20, with an aim to compete directly against Maruti Suzuki Swift. The new hatchback will feature the Hyundai's new ‘fluidic' design theme that is also seen in the new Verna and i20.
Production of Accent sedan will not be completely stopped though. Hyundai's Chennai plant will continue to manufacture the model for export markets, such as Algeria and other African nations.
The new hatchback model Hyundai is talking about is expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show later this year, with an Indian entry possibly in early 2014.