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View Poll Results: Alternative to Indica taxi?
Swift DDiS 33 15.71%
Getz CRDi 24 11.43%
WagonR LPG/CNG 46 21.90%
Santro LPG/CNG 19 9.05%
Other (please specify) 88 41.90%
Voters: 210. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 7th October 2014, 02:59   #151
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

Every manufacturer decides whether it wants it's car to be sold as a Taxi. If it does, it approaches the State Transport Authority for approval. Once approved, the Regional Transport Offices get the notification from the STA and only then can a car be registered as a Taxi.

The reason, why you don't see Tata Nanos replacing Auto rickshaws. J&K Govt once thought of using petrol Nanos as taxis, but Tata Motors stopped them.

_______________

Coming back to replacing Indica, I will start with the most viable diesel options first. And will limit the options to hatchbacks only, which can be legally registered as taxis.

Is there any other car which can beat Indica diesel's PRICE-COMFORT-INTERIOR SPACE- CHEAP SPARES & SERVICE AVAILABILITY combo? No.

You can only go up the price ladder and look for a replacement.

Following are the diesel hatchbacks, which can be registered as taxis.

Etios Liva. The, now default, choice of the taxi operators after the Indica. Comfortable and spacious and much much better build quality. More expensive, yes. But, the rock solid Toyota reliability makes up for it. Livas are more reliable and last longer than Indicas.
If a car breaks down, it is not earning you any money. One loses money every day, till the time it is in the garage. I have seen Livas with more than a lakh kilometres on the odo, still, no rattles, no squeaks.
Where a three year old Indica is phased out, the Liva goes on.
Comparing Indicas with Livas, the operators make up for the money lost on the procurement cost.

Indica Vista. It used to be the other most preferred option. But, ever since, the Live became available as taxi, it stopped making sense.

The other options such as the Ford Figo, Nissan Micra, Chevrolet Beat, Suzuki Ritz, Verito Vibe, fail to match what the Indica at the bottom end and the Live at the top end, provide.
The exact reason, why you see the maximum number of Indica and Livas on the road.

_______________

Now, the CNG hatchbacks.

In a city where CNG is widely available, it is the fuel of choice for a large number of taxi operators. Cheaper to run and cheaper to buy, since CNG variants are generally cheaper than their diesel siblings.

Since the original question was about the Indica, I am not factoring in the boot space equation. Indicas are generally used for intracity transport. For luggage, a roof carrier is more than sufficient.

There is no manufacturer, other than Tata, which offers cars with factory fitted CNG kits and can be registered as taxis.
  • Alto 800 CNG. No.
  • Wagon R CNG. No.
  • Celerio CNG. No.
  • Santro Xing with Hyundai approved dealer fitted CNG kit. No.
  • Tata Nano CNG. No.
  • Tata Indica CNG. Yes.

You do see many Wagon R and Santro taxis, but all of them have retrofitted kits, which means they get no warranty from the manufacturer.

_______________

I would love to see the following hatchbacks being available as taxis.
  • The Datsun Go in a diesel or CNG avatar. It is spacious & cheap. With more service stations, spares, it can be the car which can beat Indica in its own game.
  • The Nano CNG. It would be perfect for intracity commute or short journeys. It is spacious for four adults and gives great mileage. And did I mention, one can buy three Nanos for the price of two Indicas!? But, the Tatas do not want a Taxi image for the Nano.
  • All CNG hatchbacks from Suzuki and Hyundai. Needless to say, with an excellent service backup and reliability record, they make the ideal taxis. Unfortunate (for taxi operators), that the manufacturers do not want to make the same mistake (as what Tata did with the Indica.
  • Honda Brio in a diesel or CNG avatar. Honda reliability with great space and mileage, it has the qualities to replace marginally more expensive Liva.
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Old 7th October 2014, 09:12   #152
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

Thanks for the informed post above.

Only point of difference would be Brio vs Liva - one thing is Honda would absolutely refuse to give its cars a taxi image, so they refuse - fine. Still, a Brio is much more cramped in the front as well as the back seat than a Liva is.

Indica taxis are widely used for short haul highway travel as well (eg: runs of upto 4..5 hours like Pune - Shirdi, Chennai - Pondy etc), not just intracity, and their short turning circle and "easy to park" image comes in very handy when trying to find parking in a crowded pilgrim centre like Shirdi.
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Old 8th October 2014, 18:30   #153
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

Tata seems to have changed their stand on not making the nano into a taxi?

http:://mintne.ws/1vU8Yg8
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Old 15th July 2015, 07:45   #154
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

Well I brought 3 Ventos as cabs and the immediate difference i feel after almost 6 months of usage is simply in case of a toyota the service is lower than 1 Re per km something like 0.7 Re range. But in Vento it is almost in the 1 Re range. But if i take it over a long term comparing the fuel mileage and stuff the Etios does have a small/minute advantage although i am not sure about it. But the Vento is definitely my drivers fav cab to drive and we have some passengers ready to pay the extra rupee for the cab. The tyre mileage is also different but I wont ever compare the stock tyre, so after 37,500 kms avg all 3 of my ventos have changed tyres and I am gonna try Bridgestones this time ( mainly because they have a discount which makes it cheaper than the lot and I have a loyalty to it ) So when 1lakh kms strike and I expect somewhere in the December ranges I will post a complete comparison of etios and Vento.

Last edited by Mordred : 15th July 2015 at 07:46.
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Old 27th July 2015, 18:23   #155
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

Hyundai has now started offering the i10 (CNG) and Grande i10 (Diesel) as Taxis in Delhi.

Chevrolet also has started offering the Sail hatchback for the same.
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Old 27th July 2015, 19:31   #156
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

I've seen a lot of Xcent's used a Ola Cabs in Bangalore.

If not Indica, the answer lies in the Etios Liva. The brand name is synonymous with reliability.
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Old 16th December 2015, 15:55   #157
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

A small update:

Hyundai has now started offering Grand i10 and Xcent's CNG variants in the commercial segment. It is not a factory fitted kit, but the one provided by CEV, authorised by Hyundai. The kit (worth 65k) is fitted only to a brand new vehicle and the vehicle's warranty remains intact.

Honda has also started offering the Amaze CNG in the commercial segment.

And Datsun too has joined in. The Go, with a company authorised kit (55k), can now be registered as a taxi in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. I do not know about other states. The car's warranty has now been limited to 4 years / 80,000 kms as to unlimited kilometres in the petrol version.

The Go plus doesn't have the permission yet. The fact that its officialy a seven seater and retrofitting a CNG kit will make it a 5 seater, is proving to be the point of contention.

I believe the Go plus can take off from the point, where the Indigo Marina left. It's spacious, can take in some luggage even after the kit is fitted. And it comes for the price of an i10 (with CNG kit).
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Old 17th December 2015, 19:55   #158
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Default Re: If not Indica, what else for Taxi operators?

A Swift diesel looks the most popular option in our present car scenario. Its frugal, cheap to maintain, offers decent performance, great average.

I personally think all hatchback taxis should be replaced by sub 4 meter sedans like the Swift Dzire/Honda Amaze/Tata Zest.
They have the sam performance/mileage as their hatchback siblings. Also they have almost the same length as their hatchback variants so do not gulp much space on roads. Also the added boot gives it more practicality since they will be used as taxis.
They would anyday be a better option over the age old Fiat taxis!
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