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Old 23rd August 2009, 18:57   #271
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Daewoo has very less value outside india though they continue to suffocate the indian market
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:33   #272
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Default Cars that failed in India that were just right for the country

Some where I had touched on this subject in another post, but I thought it will make for an interesting thread. With my reasons for why they were right, and why they failed, here is a starter list, in no particular order:

1. Fiat Uno - great interior package including a huge boot. Very good ride on mediocre roads, and very stable on good ones at ton up speeds. Very well designed and practical interiors with high quality and long lasting materials. Brilliant quality seats, and very comfortable ones too. Sturdy and very usable parcel shelf, still to be bettered. Fantastic naturally aspirated diesel option that pulled like a locomotive. In the ghats, it out climbed a 1.3 Esteem with ease. Great AC. Very sturdy build, and still very compact, with a decently small turning circle. Would have given a very viable option to the Maruti tin cans.
What killed it? First PAL, then Fiat mismanagement.

2. Fiat Palio - car designed ground up for third world countries. For both ease and low cost of manufacture, and for roads/fuel issues prevalent. Many of the build attributes of the Uno, in a bigger, more modern package. Fantastic build quality, and just a better Uno.
What killed it ? FE issues, Maruti/Hyundai propaganda against it, poor marketing, poor dealership particularly the service side, quality issues with localization increase, that still persist, the cars made today are nowhere as good as the 2001/02 ones. Which were largely made in Brazil, a third world country, btw. None the issues that killed it were inherent in the product, so another case of company mismanagement, including refusal to acknowledge that the customer is always right, and should not be looked down upon as the Italians tend to do!

3. Peugeot 309 - car that sold in huge numbers in Africa, and could have been the next Indica, but it would have given us a great boot as well. Great build, great ride, fantastic ground clearance because of innovative suspension packaging. The view from one end of the car, between the wheels is still unsurpassed for the amount of daylight you could see, it probably had as much GC as a Gypsy! Brilliant diesel, the TUD 5 engine was the Fiat multijet equivalent of its day for refinement and FE.
What killed it ? PAL's utter mismanagement, and probably Peugeot distance from the market.

4. Ford Fusion - alll in one car from hatchback to SUV! It is like a mini CRV, and would have been perfect for India at the right price, and with better interiors at the current price point. Would have gotten a lot of people get over their hang up about a boot.
What killed it - Ford never figured out how to position the car, and then finished the job by poor interior build quality and expensive/poor after sales service.

5. Chevrolet Forester - Another great estate that would have made a lot more sense than all the softroaders in the market for all around use. Classic body lines, and it still looks fresh and contemporary. Fantastic build, and well designed and built interiors. Lots of load carrying space, true all wheel drive, unlike most other so called AWDs/ full time 4wds - the rare car where the AWD was a part of the handling story as well as the mild off roading support. Huge ground clearance, perfect for Indian roads and highways, with well sorted out suspension. I think it would have been a lot more utilized than what today's SUVs are, in terms of using all its features.

What killed it ? Priced way too high, and brought in when the Chevrolet brand was totally unknown to most people here. And the car is not a Chevrolet in character, it is Subaru by design, build, and character. Would probably have been better served by building on the Subaru Impreza story and genes that it carried - another Pajero kind of success. And GM at that time hadn't solved the service puzzle either.

I am sure that there are others in this category. Just the above cars span all but the high end segments, and their success would have made motoring in India a lot more of a pleasant experience for a large number of people, is my belief.

Last edited by Technocrat : 31st August 2009 at 12:44. Reason: Formatted the post for better readability :)
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Old 31st August 2009, 08:54   #273
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I think there is another thread on this too, but will add one more car :

1) Baleno.
TBHP has a lot of data on this car. We have one and I can assure that only a few cars under Rs. 10 lakh barrier can be so good all round.
This is a car well known to all of us here.

2) Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia.
Again at TBHP we have good amount of data on this car. One drive is sufficient to say that this is a very good car. It failed because of Mitsubishi and its marketing.

About the 309.
The suspension package you are talking about was availbale in all its models except the MPV from peugeot. One fact that you have not mentioned is handling and ride. Esteem and Celio were no match for this car in this case. Even today 309 can be a teacher for new gen midsize cars.
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Old 31st August 2009, 13:44   #274
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Sir, now that the Ford Fusion is sharing many of its components including Engine with the Fiesta, do we still see it to be expensive to maintain?
I agree with you on Fusion, i still fail to understand why it is not getting its due recognition.
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Old 31st August 2009, 16:06   #275
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Originally Posted by Dillu-TVM View Post
Yes, i had never seen this vehicle on the road.It was there in a Malayalam Movie named "harikrishnans" strrring Mammooty and Mohanlal. It think that vehicle had an Isuzu 2.0 ltr diesel engine, but not sure..
Yes was a mega flop
I found it is mentioned in the below forum
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...light-day.html (Cars that havent seen the light of the day.)

This was based on the OLD Renault Espace went out of production in 1991
more details
Renault Espace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 31st August 2009, 18:31   #276
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Most of these cars failed because they came from cos which the common folks have no trust.
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Old 31st August 2009, 19:03   #277
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Nice writeup Sawyer. I am curious to know what kind of propoganda Maruti and Hyundai ran against the Palio. I was not that into cars at that time and I missed the context.

I will buy a Fusion like car if it were to be offered by Hyundai or Toyota.
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Old 31st August 2009, 19:23   #278
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Default Taxi Drivers see value for Money and not necessarily Cheap Products

Taxis: well, they prefer any car from any manufacturer that offers them a discount. Explains why so many taxis are indigos and indigo xls. the petrol variants of these models JUST dont sell. tata gives a large discount + cng kit. taxi operators flock to buy - quote from Frankmehta.

Well, Worldwide, Mercedes Benz is known as Taxi Car. It doesn't mean that Mercedes is a poorly built Car. Taxi people see value for money and the back seat comfort of the Customers.

In the Gulf people prefer Mercedes over BMW, just because it can be repaired anywhere unlike BMW, which goes with lot of electronic gadgetary. But BMW is a Driver's Car. And most of the Chauffer driven cars are Benz.

Last edited by jaaz : 31st August 2009 at 19:29. Reason: Quote from frankmehta
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Old 31st August 2009, 20:10   #279
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Worlwide is different from India. The taxi driver must get back the money he used to buy the taxi. Few of us here would pay a huge sum and travel in a Merc everytime. So at the end of the day, cheap efficient reliable cars are taxis here. Nothing wrong with that either as we are, simply put, not the richest country in the world (yet).
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Old 31st August 2009, 21:55   #280
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Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
Nice writeup Sawyer. I am curious to know what kind of propoganda Maruti and Hyundai ran against the Palio. I was not that into cars at that time and I missed the context.
For one, on the FE, what they did was fully exploited the lower FE of the cars by putting out a much bigger difference with their small cars than what existed in reality. In addition, I think, but am not sure, that there was an odo calibration error made by Fiat that made the FE look a little worse than what it actually was - it was corrected later, but by that time a lot of damage had been done. Finally, the market was persuaded to compare the car with the Zen/Santro for price points, whereas it was a car that was better built and finished than these. Fiat should perhaps have not dropped the Uno as soon as the Palio came in, the Uno could have taken the competition head on, while Palio established a new market segment.
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Old 11th April 2011, 11:42   #281
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Default Flop cars of India

Mods: I searched for this topic coudnt find one. Kindly merge if already there. These are all my personal opinions and no offence to any owners. Sorry for the tounge in cheek remarks.

With all the latest models flooding our shores, it would perhaps be the right time to go down memory lane to identify those duds in our nascent auto market. These are all my personal choices and i will update them once i have time
The list hereby. (to be continued...)

1. Maruti 1000

Launched at the start of the 90's it was THE car for Maruti. Here was a stylish, contemporary and sleek sedan from the country's leading manufacturer more known for its humble 800 and the omni. In one sweep it made all the sedans then available like the contessa, 118ne, ambassador all look as exciting as Doordarshan's parliamentary news. It was THE car to be seen in and it became an instant hit. But then people began to drive it and very quickly found out that beneath the space age shape body beat a heart of pure arthritis. The 1000 cc engine put out a pathetic 46hp, wheezed and struggled to pull the car at the speed its shape held promise. Worse still if the aircon was switched on. And that the aircon would cool only well in Siberia added to the disgusted sweaty look on the owners face as even dinky 800s flew past him. Thankfully Maruti updated it midlife with the new 1300cc engine and renamed it the Esteem. The 1000 was left to die a slow death, but for sure it won't be missed.

2. Tata Sierra/Estate

Buoyed by its success in the LCV segment, optimism was the new word in TATA. The empire had to spread horizontally and make itself a household name in all corners of India. For that it had to enter the automotive segment. But to jump straight from trucks to cars was a big leap of faith that even TATA did not wanna risk. So someone suggested bridge products, like SUVs, people carriers to learn the ropes and finesse of car manufacturing before somersaulting headlong into the mass production swimming pool. Sounded great, but it wasn't as we shall soon see.

The first products to wheeze along was the Tata Estate (the tata mobile was there but it was biblically agricultural). On the face of it was brilliant. It was the perfect car for the great big Indian family with enough space for all the auntijis and unclejis. It had unheard of luxury features at that time, power steering, central locking, power windows ( very much the fashion statement then),Mercedes lookalike seats and a refined diesel engine. A huge estate car that if you squinted a bit, looked like the Mercedes Benz estate. Looked promising, but alas it all started to fall apart pretty soon.

It wasn't as much as just one problem, but a list so huge and so unfathomable that it literally broke the back of TATA's service department and tarnished the reputation of this and for that matter the Sierra's for ever. Even to this day the image of TATAs as high maintenance vehicles are due in part because of these. The engine though smooth and refined, was prone to drinking oil, coolant loss, smoking, starting problems what not. The electrics were even worse with dentist drill sounding and awfully slow power windows, blown fuses and if at all the powered accessories did work, the under spec alternator drained the battery so it won't start again. Fantastic.

And then we come to the biggest problem of them all-the weight. The truck making ethos ensured that the car weighed as much as the moon and proved too much for the tiny 1948 cc engine. Opening the doors (the poor plastic handles didn't help much) felt like opening the doors to a bank vault. This weight took its effect on the suspension and the tires with the front ones gobbled up at an alarming rate! All this ensured that you spend more days in the garage than on the road and when word of mouth got around, people deserted it in droves.

Quite sad then, that these were the vehicles I dreamed of owning when I was a child. Even to this day a well maintained one can still turn heads (but finding them is like looking for penguins in Rajasthan). Sad, a brilliant concept but let down by horrible execution. But in hindsight, TATA wouldn't have been what it is today without these learning curves. Lucky I was not part of that curve.

Last edited by Samurai : 11th April 2011 at 12:07. Reason: removed font tags
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Old 11th April 2011, 12:08   #282
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Default re: Flop cars of India

I can think of Standard 2000 and Sipani Dolphin which were much bigger flops than M1000 and Sierra/Estate.

Last edited by Samurai : 11th April 2011 at 15:13.
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Old 11th April 2011, 12:55   #283
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Default re: Flop cars of India

Sam Strom, 1st gen Indica(Though they bettered it)
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Old 11th April 2011, 13:01   #284
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Default re: Flop cars of India

Ford Escort anyone?
And the Daewoo Cielo. I remember drooling over it whenever its ad used to air.
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Old 11th April 2011, 13:19   #285
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Default re: Flop cars of India

Maruti Suzuki Zen Classic. The one which looks like Hitler, with odd round head lights and lots and lots of unnecessary chrome.

Will add if some more model/variants comes in mind.
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