Friday, September 05, 2014

RIP Accent ( 1999-2013) Reborn Xcent (2014)

Brand : Xcent
Company : Hyundai
Brand Analysis  : # 548


While there are many conflicting views about re-birth in the human world, the brand-world is full of brands dying and getting re-born in another avatar. One such case is Hyundai Accent. The once best selling sedan from Hyundai died in 2013 when sagging sales prompted the company to pull the plug on one of the most successful automobile brands in India. 
In 2014, Hyundai launched its first sub 4 meter sedan Xcent. The similarity in the brand name cannot be wished away as a mere coincidence. The company wants to continue Accent's legacy and equity into the new born brand.

Compact sedans has been a rage in the Indian market which is primarily fueled by the low tax applicable to sub 4 meter cars.The segment is led by Maruti Dzire. While manufacturers take advantage of the tax factor by putting a boot to the existing sedans, consumers find the proposition of value. Indian consumers have a thing for sedans because it raises the status. So even if the boot looks ugly, consumers are happy buying an ugly sedan than a beautiful  hatchback. 
Xcent is positioned as an affordable family car. The brand uses the tagline " Multiplies your life"  to convey its value for money proposition. 
watch the tvc here : Xcent 
With the price starting at Rs 4.66 lakh, the brand has got the customer attention. According to reports, the company is finding it difficult to handle the demand from the market. 
Regarding the branding, Hyundai may have wanted to carry over the equity of Accent to Xcent. Accent as a brand has strong association with a full fledged sedan. So using that brand to launch a compact sedan  has some risk. Also Accent as a brand is perceived to be an old one. Xcent is a new product in a new platform ( Grand i10) with the fluidic design philosophy. So Xcent was the smart move by Hyundai to get the best of both the brands. 
Smart indeed.