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Old 21st January 2015, 10:14   #256
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Very interesting trivia from this Forbes article:

Quote:
The top management of HMIL and their partners from multiple advertising agencies were grappling with options when someone suggested that it should have a tone as fashionable as, for instance, Saint Tropez, the elegant city in the French Riviera. “The city is actually pronounced San-tro-pez, and that led to the creation of the name Santro,” says Subbu.
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Santro’s power train (engine) and gear specifications were frozen by adopting what Subbu calls the “Peddar Road Syndrome”: The engine torque should be such that it can carry five people with the air-conditioning running on a monsoon day. And all of this in Mumbai’s infamous Peddar Road traffic, with minimum gear changes.
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Old 21st January 2015, 10:48   #257
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Loud noise & super limited revv-range aside, the 407 motor brought amazing torque, fuel-economy & durability (IIRC, Tata offered a 3 lakh kms warranty on this engine).
I guess the pic in the post is mostly a KL Police Vigilance department vehicle, more so since it is having Trivandrum number plates.

KL police had taken many Spacio's in white and navy blue color, the uniqueness of the vehicle killed the idea of having an unmarked police vehicle though.

The other vehicle which was used extensively by the KL Police as unmarked cars were white Tempo Trax.
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Old 21st January 2015, 17:04   #258
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Wow what a thread. Really a load of good of info.. Things any automobile geek would like to know. Its just like when our grand parents used to tell the stories of their young days... Some of the posts just took me to the past..

A couple of stories that came to my mind. Not sure if this was posted earlier

I remember reading in one of the auto mag of the time, that Tata Indica, Honda city (first dolphin model) and Fial Palio where all designed by the same design house based in Italy. They were not aware that all the three cars were meant to be launched in India. It was thought that Indica was for India, City for Japan and Palio for Europe. And hence gave the same front end to all the 3 cars. Eventually Palio got a different front while Indica and Honda City looked similar.

Also I liked the tag line of Bajaj Pulsar during the initial days - Definitely Male. There was also this ad where the bike turns its head to look at 2 females walking by, with a whistle sounding in the background.

FundaG
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Old 21st January 2015, 17:22   #259
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May be this should qualify and many might not be knowing it already:

Ford Ecosport is categorized under 4m length. That saves a substantial excise duty and goes in line with models such as D'zire, Amaze, Xcent, etc.

However, that is without accounting for the spare wheel. With the tail gate mounted spare wheel, Ford Ecosport's length is 4170mm, which is over the 4m meter for excise rebate!
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Old 21st January 2015, 17:57   #260
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Very interesting trivia from this Forbes article:
Santro is so much better a name than i10, 20, 30 etc. Once a friend called me for feedback on Hyundai ILO since she was shopping for a hatchback. I was like It's not ilo but i10


Nothing has changed since the Santro launch wrt Hyundai. They still continue to stay ahead of the competitors and the market in Product Cycles, creating new trends etc. I mean, who would have thought of a CRDI Engine in an Accent, a premium hatchback like the i20, a B segment car interior with Quality which is clearly a segment higher.

The two flies in the ointment are their rising maintenance costs and notorious Factory worker relations.
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Old 21st January 2015, 18:27   #261
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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
May be this should qualify and many might not be knowing it already:

Ford Ecosport is categorized under 4m length. That saves a substantial excise duty and goes in line with models such as D'zire, Amaze, Xcent, etc.

However, that is without accounting for the spare wheel. With the tail gate mounted spare wheel, Ford Ecosport's length is 4170mm, which is over the 4m meter for excise rebate!
Cuz our government says the spare wheel mounted on the back does not count as part of body length! Similar to the Quanto and Avventura.
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Old 21st January 2015, 18:49   #262
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Not too long ago, one could buy a budget sedan with an independent rear suspension (even my humble Accent has it). Today, even some D-segment sedans are sold with torsion-beam setups at the rear.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 21st January 2015 at 18:50.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 00:08   #263
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Not too long ago, one could buy a budget sedan with an independent rear suspension (even my humble Accent has it). Today, even some D-segment sedans are sold with torsion-beam setups at the rear.
If I remember correctly, the first generation Indica, projected as a budget hatchback in 1998, also came with all independent suspensions! Not sure, but probably later models too came with similar setup.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 14:39   #264
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Here's another bit of trivia. Probably the only MUV sold in India with a full & proper truck engine was the Tata Spacio (stripped down Sumo). If you closed your eyes and a Sumo Spacio drove by, you'd think it was a 407 truck ! The Spacio also had round headlamps (regular Sumo had them rectangular)
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Now that you mention it, recall a funny incident. I was at Patna and wanted to book a Sumo for hire (private plates).
e charged Re. 1 less per/km from the standard fare.
Yes- Indeed what GTO says is true. The Tata Spacio was our first true diesel workhorse. We, I think, used to have a FIAT Palio 1.9 prior to that as well. Handling wise, that thing, the Sumo i.e was a real put off.

Motors were of course, shared with the Tata 407 DI EX. The torque was amazing, and that thing was damn fuel efficient. Ours, however was a Spacio Gold, which received a turbocharged engine and offered increased power of 70 PS (at 3000 rpm) and 223 Nm Torque (at 2200 rpm) compared to the regular versions. This motor, IIRC came off the Sumo Victa.

The clatter- well-it was quite a ritual to start her up, as told by me below:

The clutch was supremely heavy, and took quite some effort to tug in. The key put into ignition, and the glow plug fired up. A faint 'teeeek' sort of an alarm rang, and the starter whirred.

Tat-tho-tho-tho-tho-tho-thar-thar-thar-thar-thar.....She spluttered into life, vibrating heavily. I remember, sitting in the driver's seat, one could sense every mood, every splutter, every vibration from the engine. The clutch vibrations were a lot, in winters.

Plastics were nothing to write home about- glovebox edges could give you cuts. But- somehow, I just loved that thing, and I still do now. That sort of an experience, of a *true* diesel experience is unmatched. Of course, the VW Vento comes close to it.

Ours, was a Spacio Gold, a vehicle that sold in very limited numbers. It was the most *premium* (Ah! It was *premium* ! ) of the Sumo range, sitting below the Sumo Victa. The Sumo Grande came later. The Spacio Gold was taken off- with the introduction of the Sumo Grande in 2008.

A few pics of the Spacio Gold:

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Ours used to be in a pearly, metallic silvery/whitish colour. I never saw a similar factory colour on any other Sumo.

The dash, looked better than what came on regular versions. The silvery inserts helped the cabin look a much better place. The four spoke steering reminded me of the Skoda Octavia, back in '07. :

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There used to be another cut-cost version of the Sumo as well- The Tata Sumo A1. Note the fender badging- reading A1.

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Why did we use the Sumo as a daily driver- Simply because of lack of choice. The Swift Diesel commanded a waiting period, the Octavia 1.9 TDi was too pricey, and the Scorpio was not liked.

The Sumo was bought as a short term compromise- We were to buy the Octavia in a short while anyway. BUT- The Sumo was regrettably totalled late in 2007. The chassis destroyed, she was brought back to life by a shady garage. Now- she must be in some rural outpost.

All pic courtesy: CarTrade, and various other online sites.
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Old 25th February 2015, 14:10   #265
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Great Thread.

I remember that the rear quarter glass panel of old M800 could be removed easily by thieves by stripping down the rubber beading. They used to then use a hanger to open the pull type lock & open the rear door.

This had become quite rampant & hence owners used to install steel grills on the rear quarter glass like the one shown in pic.

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Image Courtesy: AutomotiveIndia
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Old 25th February 2015, 16:24   #266
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Not a car story, but a important player in Indian Auto Scene

The TVS Rambo motorbike was the first product that was conceived after the sad split with the Suzuki brand after 19 years of partnering together. Numerous problems in Indian R&D team (Remember - No Japs now!!) were slowly overcome except for the last thorn - a cam-shaft failure that their metallurgy team just couldnt comprehend.

After weeks, months of breaking their heads, they decided to remove their spectacles (typical filmy-ishtyle) and gave upto the Gods - literally. They became the main sponsor for Hosur's numero-uno temple http://wikimapia.org/426493/Arulmigu...giri-Tamilnadu (also this link http://www.hosurguru.com/?page_id=13) and did a major contribution and undertook a mega restoration effort of the Tipu-Era temple.

Voila - Cam issue solved, and the "TVS VICTOR" (named aptly so) is born and the rest as they say is apacheee, err history

They had their share of issues post the Rambo story too, remember the legal-soup'd 3V bike, FLAME, well that flamed out, point in case is - every trouble they encountered is reflected in the 10's of temples around hosur town they have taken over as 'main sponsor'.

Local public hate their pokey-noses in local affairs, but that is the truth, I googled around and didnt notice this story(ies) elsewhere - so here you go, you read it 1st on TBhp

I have seen Venu Srinivasan in his S-Class accompanied by his driver and very few of his personal staff in a temple (TVS sponsored) near Hosur-RTO office. Simple, down to earth person, only recognized by petrol heads and many of his employees who live all over hosur. No fuss of a VIP, just walk into the temple, leave quietly.
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Old 9th March 2015, 22:03   #267
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A very cute article from the 80s. Lots of interesting titbits:

India Today

Quote:
In New Delhi, D.S. Mehta fulminates about Maruti's fuel efficiency, and the stiff price-tags for spares.
Quote:
In Bombay, Keith Stevenson complains that the air-conditioning in his new Maruti deluxe car doesn't work, that the car overheats and rattles.
Quote:
Premier Automobiles has had complaints about the shock absorbers in its 118 NE (the problem has now been solved). There has also been disillusionment about the car's delivery schedule. The company is hopelessly behind on its production targets - owing partly to a penal ban, imposed for some time, on the import of components. Barely 3,000 cars have been turned out so far, against bookings of 75,000 in 1985. Result: the car commands a premium of Rs.20,000 in Bombay.
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Old 15th March 2015, 19:28   #268
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Good trivia here, and an interesting read

Business Standard

Quote:
Incidentally, Sierra was also the first diesel vehicle to be accepted as a personal car in India.
Quote:
Telco sold about 667 vehicles in the first year of launch (1991). The car hit its peak in 1994-95, selling 3,910 units. But it was downhill thereafter. By 2000-01, sales were down to 238 units and the company decided to phase out the vehicle.
Quote:
With a price tag of Rs 5 lakh and upward, the Tata Sierra was the most expensive offering in the passenger car segment in 1991.
Quote:
some passengers would rather sit with the driver in the front passenger seat than go through the trouble of clambering into the back. For those who were used to chauffeur-driven vehicles, these indignities were not easily overlooked.
Quote:
The back of the Sierra was almost entirely made of glass, which meant passengers at the back could not let in the breeze (or spit out paan, as some observed).
Quote:
Telco tried to correct this by tinting the glass as far as possible; but government regulations ruled out fully-tinted glass
Quote:
Says Dube, "Obviously, it made more sense to focus on bringing out a classy-looking, four-door Safari rather than resurrect a model that never really had a passenger car appeal."
Quote:
In fact, at one point (1995-96) exports sales for the Sierra were higher than its domestic sales
Quote:
In the UK, the Sierra was called the Gurkha and local dealers aggressively pitted it against established brands with advertisements that read "Brand new Tata Gurkha, cheaper than a used Land Rover".
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Old 16th March 2015, 10:28   #269
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From today's Economic Times:

When 'humiliated' Ratan Tata did 'favour' to Ford with JLR buyout!



Quote:
The poor response to its maiden hatchback Indica had driven Tata Motors to sell the car business, within a year of its debut in 1998, to Ford Motor.

"Some people advised chairman Ratan Tata to sell the passenger car division following the poor response it got post launch. Ford officials came down to our headquarters Bombay House and evinced interest in our car business.
We were called to Detroit for discussions and I accompanied the chairman. For nearly three hours, we discussed the sell-off with Ford officials but were meted out humiliating treatment", said Kadle, who played a major role in the turnaround and growth of Tata Motors.
Quote:
"They told us 'you do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all'. They said they will do us a favour by buying our car division,"

The Tata Motors team decided to return to New York the same evening and Ratan Tata, then the group chairman, was sombre throughout the 90-minute flight.
Quote:
Nine years after the 'humiliation', the clock turned a full circle and the salt-to-software conglomerate humbled the mighty Ford -- which was on the verge of bankruptcy after the 2008 global financial meltdown -- by taking over the iconic Jaguar Land-Rover brands for USD 2.3 billion, Kadle recalled.
Quote:
Ford chairman Bill Ford thanked Tata, saying 'you are doing us a big favour by buying JLR',"
Quote:
Within a few years of the buyout, JLR made a dramatic turnaround and is the mainstay of Tata Motors' finances now.

Kadle, who has been with the group for 21 years, said the driving factor for Tata in the Indica project was to launch the country's first indigenously designed car from scratch.

The ambitious car was not a commercial success in first few years and it was suggested to sell the passenger vehicles vertical, Kadle said.

Last edited by Sherlocked : 16th March 2015 at 10:39.
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Old 12th May 2015, 21:44   #270
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Posting something that not everyone is aware of.

By revenues, Tata is the biggest motor company in India. This is due to commercial vehicles (primarily) and Jaguar-Land Rover.

Tata Motors' gross revenues are multiple times that of Maruti.
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