It seems like Hyundai and Honda are pulling the plugs off their once-bread-and-butter models to keep up with the changing dynamics of the Indian auto market. Recently, the news about Honda Civic being pulled off from the market has been doing rounds since Honda Siel has completely terminated the import of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits of the model. It is expected that very soon the model will go extinct with official announcement from the company, just round the corner. Even before the Honda news could fade out, speculations have already started that Hyundai might be possibly planning to withdraw its best selling Accent.
The South Korean automotive giant entered the Indian domain back in 1999 with its hatchback, Santro and sedan, Accent. Both these models managed to pose some serious competition to car makers like Maruti Suzuki by taking on Zen and Esteem. The different variants of Accent have been highly successful in the country squaring off against Honda City.
Accent continues to bring in decent sales for the car maker even now, especially with its CRDi variant generating volumes for the brand. Hyundai Accent had entered the market just like a fresh breeze, boasting of a never-before breathtaking style against the conventional boring styling found on cars in Indian market, back then. The major Unique Selling Point (USP) of the car was that it offered space as large as Honda City, in a price, which was just above Maruti Suzuki Esteem.
However, the ascent of Accent was curbed when the car maker launched the up-scaled version of the sedan, Hyundai Verna in the second half of 2006. The car, which was sold alongside the Accent received a good response from the Indian buyers and the company discontinued the high-end variants of Accent to keep the older model within the C-Segment. Later on, the CRDi variant too was shelved by the South Korean car manufacturer to avoid it from gnawing on the sales of the Verna. This took its toll on the sales of the older model, however it managed to sell 11,000 units in 2011, which is commendable considering the car has become quite outdated and has no diesel variant.
It seems that the growing competition in the market in the form of new C-segment sedans like DZire etc. and the ever-rising price of petrol has made the road even more tough for the veteran model. With only 200 units sold in June 2012, Hyundai is now forced to pulled the plug off the sedan just like Honda did for its Civic. Nevertheless, Hyundai Accent will always be remembered as one of the few models that had the potential to establish their parent brands in the country.