Hyundai India is planning to present the i10 hatchback in the black-and-yellow city-taxi market in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata in the coming weeks. The introduction of i10 as a city-taxi by the company comes at a time when the Mumbai market is expected to see about 7,843 permits up for grabs over the coming six months. Hyundai is stalling the production of the Santro, which was its model for the cab market and hence, i10 is filling in the shoes of this hatchback.
"Hyundai Santro is the most preferred car in the taxi segment on account of low cost of acquisition and low cost of operation. To build on this segment further, Hyundai would be introducing i10 - as a taxi option - so as to provide taxi operators with another option," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor India. "The i10 is a good car. However, it has comparatively less space than Santro," said AL Quadros, general secretary of the Mumbai Taxi Union. "As long as it is appropriately priced for our market, it will be good for cab drivers to migrate to."
Hyundai India would offer CNG trim of the i10 hatch for meeting the requirements of the cab market. The CNG kits won't be factory-fitted but retrofitted. The company has also made some subtle changes to the interior cabin of the hatchback. It has left out the power steering and Air-conditioner from the i10 hatchback to make it compatible with the city-taxi market. Already 20,000-25,000 cab owners have opted for the Santro to replace the once-ubiquitous Premier Padmini in Mumbai. And, with Santo too reaching the end of its life and phased out, i10 hatchback is all set to be the Hyundai's new face of the Indian cab market.