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Old 16th August 2011, 13:37   #31
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

Definately Yes!
But it would be a success if it has the following atleast..

1. The engine should be atleast a 2.0 L Common Rail DI, with 100 horses roaring under the hood and 200 NM Torque @ 1700 ~ 2200 rpm for disposal.
2. Atleast a 5 Speed MT. 6 Speed is a bonus.
3. 15" wheels with shoes having good aspect ratio and all 4 discs to tame this beauty's ride.
4. Have ABS/Airbags atleast in the high trim level versions.
5. Height adjustable driver's seat due to its lower stance.
6. Rear A/C vents for second row.

All these in the price range of 5 to 7 Lakhs INR.

Also, the most imp is the HM A.S.S.C network.

No need to change the outer body styling though its decades old.
It still has its appeal and the 'Recall' image.
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Old 16th August 2011, 15:43   #32
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

Few Indian cars have character, and the Contessa is most definitely one of them.

- Cost of developing a modern Contessa from the ground up = Atleast 2,000 crores.

- Cost of modernizing the Contessa's build quality, giving it modern interiors, amenities, ride, handling and an outsourced common-rail diesel engine = Atleast 500 crores.

The only problem? This:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The company's networth is Rs. 164 crores, but is sitting on accumulated losses of Rs. 132 crores. Also, HM has lost 50% of its net worth in the last 4 years.
Expecting a Contessa-look alike that drives like a modern sedan, from a company that just proudly launched a pick-up version of a dinosaur is well....wishful thinking.
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Old 16th August 2011, 20:12   #33
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

The Contessa was introduced in 1984 with the Ambassador 1489cc OHV engine and a floor 4 speed gear. Its price was about Rs 1,05000/- on road in Maharashtra. Thereafter it was upgraded and labelled 1.8GL with the 1800 cc Isuzu petrol engine and a five speed gearbox in 1987. HM advertised that this was India's luxury car with an overdrive. Soon in the 1990's the 2000 cc Isuzu Diesel was also added as an option. The price of the variants had become Rs 4.5 L to Rs 5 L .These were the last mechanical upgrades for the car ever.
The car has an excellent design and made its owners proud with a style statement,that most of today's C segment cars lack.
The build quality was too poor. The chrome plated components like bumpers used to come with factory fresh rust from Uttarpara.The paint,fit and finish were poor and the poorly treated, cold rolled sheet metal body panels would catch rust within years. The lower door portions were the most susceptible.
The very nicely built and true luxury car during its times, the Standard 2000 also made its debut in 1985, but its underpowered engine, above normal fuel consumption and the Department of Revenue Intelligence raid killed the car and its factory.This made the Contessa supreme in its luxury segment (the Premier 118 NE had its own niche in the lower C segment) after 1988, till the advent of the Maruti 1000 in 1991.
All this about its quality, when the Maruti 1000/ Esteem,Daewoo Cielo and very soon the Ford Escort and the Opel Astra were its competitors in the lower and higher "C" segment.
The Contessa and its manufacturers were found napping. Hence lower demand and poor build quality and quality niggles vis a vis its competitors made the car RIP.
As GTO says the company is sick and is under BIFR reference (BIFR is the ICU and later ventilator for industries) we cannot expect HM to generate the requisite funds to upgrade the Contessa to the desired levels today in 2011.
So a new Contessa is an Utopian dream. But lets hope that some miracle revives this great car in a new avatar!

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 16th August 2011 at 20:17.
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Old 16th August 2011, 22:28   #34
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

The Contessa always reminded me of the Indian equivalent of the GTO, Charger, Challenger, Camaro and the links of the sinister muscle car brigade. It was a massive car at its time, and I was always mesmerized by the electric windows the car had, aeons ago.

Would I love to see it again. Yes. Even in its classic form, I would love to do one up all black, with a moderate dose of matte at the right places, shod with nice chrome alloys and plump tyres.

I dont think HM even has this thought on their radar and even of they did, would never contemplate doing so. And not to mention their financial inability.

It would be termed blasphemy inside the walls of HM, to even ponder such a thought!!!
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Old 16th August 2011, 22:44   #35
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

I would prefer to let it remain in the memories and in the hearts of the enthusiasts. It was a great car no doubt, but HM killed it. Timely upgrades would have surely kept it alive, but they(HM) kept on harping on the dated 1.5 and 2L petrol/diesel engines and without any extra features or quality control. They were not too keen on getting more/new variants as well. Now it is too late to revive the car. It would be better to see one or two examples being restored in the hands of some competent restorer.
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Old 16th August 2011, 22:58   #36
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

The Vauxhall / Holden that the Contessa was based on has now evolved into the Commodore saloon and Monaro Coupe. Does anyone seriously think HM can build anything like those? To me HM will be dead and buried within 10 years and as an ex-owner of a Conti and as much as I love the car, I do not want it to be produced again.

Last edited by Aditya : 16th August 2011 at 23:04.
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Old 17th August 2011, 00:25   #37
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

The GP CK Birla group has a turnover in excess of 1.8billion US. Mitsubishi Motors has also reported Losses year over year for some time now. The company is getting money from its parent company.

When the company reported to BIFR, it was CK Birla Groups decision to give the company a fair chance. Reviving the Ambassador as Veer is not that chance.

It is also a fact that the Victor Platform is a newer platform than Landmaster.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by devarshi84 : 17th August 2011 at 00:31.
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Old 17th August 2011, 10:46   #38
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

Do we want the Contessa Back?
Oh yes we do!

Can HM bring it like we want it?
No.

The Contessa is not a Mustang and HM is not Ford. Although the Contessa looked like a muscle car, it was not (in performance and quality). It was a dying product dumped onto the closed Indian market and economy. The original muscle cars happened by mistake. They were the stripped down version of 'proper' American cars during the 60-70s. Although, all embellishments were stripped down, the cars retained the engines and quality of mainstream American cars of that era. The manufacturers were not even sure whether there would be any takers. But surprisingly, they were a runaway success, as people were grappling through tough economic conditions, much similar to what's happening now. Between dearer American cars and cheaper, underpowered Japanese imports, the muscle or pony cars found a new market segment.

So, you see there is a lot of history behind the so-called muscle cars. And that is why they were a big hit when reintroduced. But remember, they are not volume players even in their new avatar.

So, do you really think that a dying OEM, such as HM, can pull off such a stunt? Come on! they do not even have a product portfolio to begin with, forget reintroducing a product that aims at nostalgia of the consumer.

Wishful, as it may sound, I'd love to see HM sell the Contessa product license to Maruti (maybe even Tata or Mahindra) and they revive the 'iconic' Indian 'muscle car.' (But I do not trust Indian OEMs on their design acumen , and the Contessa needs a bold redesign, on the lines of the Mustang, Camaro, Charger, if it ever were to be reintroduced).
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Old 30th August 2011, 13:29   #39
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

Ultimately, there is something called changed economy and customer perceptions. Most of us won't think about a car other than Maruti, HM, Tata or Mahindra a decade back because we are quite uncertain about the service and spare availability.

Well, things have changed now and classic examples are ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 500 and THAR. If contessa come back again with a decent suspension and build quality and a reasonable price, there surely will be takers for this vehicle in the niche market.

For those who cry for a bigger engine in contessa should understand the fact that most Indians are practical people and at the end of the day, running cost really matters. I was surfing through a popular automotive website and 9/10 people thought that the 2.4 petrol engine is too much for Outlander and they would consider buying it only with a diesel version

I do support an engine with current cubic capacity but better power output and reasonable fuel economy.
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Old 30th August 2011, 15:48   #40
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

+1. I would like to see a RWD sedan . All the present crop of FWD sedans are lame. The very mention of Contessa and Standard 2000 bring back pleasant memories.

Hope HM don't mess this one up or even if they do mess up doing a new Contessa, I would be very happy as it would at the very least mean a start in the right direction. No muscle car was perfect first time around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb10gagan View Post
Considering the fact that Contessa was rip off of old Maserati Quattroporte.

Why don't we demand they bring in a rip off of new Quattroporte?
The Contessa was actually a Vauxhall Victor.
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Old 30th August 2011, 16:09   #41
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

CK Birla on Hind Motors plant recce after seven years

Somethin's cookin' ???
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Old 30th August 2011, 16:40   #42
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

A BIG Yes BUT not from HM. I would love to see it from a Fiat or a Ford Stable with a powerful engine and a solid build to match.

Sometime earlier this the month, while returning to Chennai on the Bangalore Chennai highway, there was one right behind, and what a sight. I still looks good and has an impressive road presence.
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Old 30th August 2011, 17:00   #43
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

Another problem was the spares. They were priced as much as some of the imports at that time. My neighbor used to own a Conti and a Ford Cortina (picked up from some consulate's auction). He used to always crib that some of the spare parts for the Conti were more expensive than the Cortina.

Any company which brings back this brand has to be sure that this is going to be unlike any other C Segment car and is going to be tough to sell. Majority of the India customers prefer 'Phoren' brands compared to the Desi stuff and hence it would sell really small nos. For such a small minority it does not make sense for any company to bring back the Conti.
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Old 1st September 2011, 17:44   #44
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Default Re: Do we want the Contessa Back? Can HM bring it like we want it?

As GTO already pointed out, there is no point in expecting something like that from Hindustan Motors :( I sometimes wonder why Mitsubishi is still a partner of HM.
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