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Old 8th April 2020, 13:54   #346
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Some Indian automobile magazine trivia from my memory!

- Auto India was the premier Indian auto mags in the early 90's

- First issue I ever read was February 1994 (I think): Cover story was a comparison between Tata Sumo and Mahindra Armada

- I diligently subscribed to Auto India from 1996 to 2002

- Subscription rate was 270/- for 3 years in 96, which "jumped" to 360/- for 3 years by 99. Autocar India currently retails at 180/- per issue!

- Overdrive was the 2nd magazine to become popular, followed by Autocar India. Cannot remember the exact month & year though.

- First ever issue of Overdrive ran a cover story of the soon to be launched Ford Ikon, with a green car on the cover!

Last edited by ajmat : 8th April 2020 at 20:09.
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Old 8th April 2020, 20:09   #347
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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
- Overdrive was the 2nd magazine to become popular, followed by Autocar India. Cannot remember the exact month & year though.

- First ever issue of Overdrive ran a cover story of the soon to be launched Ford Ikon, with a green car on the cover!
Actually, it was Autocar that ran the story of the Ikon in its first edition. Overdrive ran the story of the Miti in its first edition
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Old 8th April 2020, 22:06   #348
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Was going through auto news when I came across Toyota Harrier. At first glance I thought it was a big goof up by the media house.

Only after googling I realized that there exists a Toyota Harrier, and the next gen. Toyota in a lot ways resembles 'THE' Harrier.
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Old 8th April 2020, 22:21   #349
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I still remember the perception that Qualis was an outdated model when it was initially launched in India. But we know the amount of success and money which it brought to Toyota India. I think they finally removed Qualis from their portfolio as it was eating into Innova's market.
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Old 8th April 2020, 23:23   #350
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Nothing can beat Maruti's move in the early 90's into legitimising a "premium", (which dealers usually used to take under the table), for the 800. In the early 90's, Maruti launched a variant of the 800 known as the 800TK or Tatkaal for the uninitiated. Yes, it was based on the same Tatkaal concept as in railway ticket booking.

In Maruti's case, one had to pay a premium of around 15,000 rupees ,(for which the customer was given a receipt! Wow!) and the 800 would be delivered to the customer within two weeks! Lesser non-TK mortals had to wait upwards of 3 months.

I don't think any other OEM in the civilised world ever dreamt up such a retail tactic to move metal at an "official" premium from their showrooms!

Last edited by khan_sultan : 9th April 2020 at 10:09. Reason: typo. if=of
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Old 9th April 2020, 01:37   #351
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I still remember the perception that Qualis was an outdated model when it was initially launched in India. But we know the amount of success and money which it brought to Toyota India. I think they finally removed Qualis from their portfolio as it was eating into Innova's market.
Wasn't Qualis discontinued just as Innova was launched. I don't think they ever sold both side by side. That was a big bet by Toyota which paid off.
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Old 9th April 2020, 06:05   #352
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Wasn't Qualis discontinued just as Innova was launched. I don't think they ever sold both side by side. That was a big bet by Toyota which paid off.
Yes Innova was launched as replacement for the Qualis.

But I believe Toyota customers were not really happy that Qualis was discontinued. Innova sales were not that great until after 2 years. When we picked our first Innova in December 2006, we got a discount of 8%.

By 2008 Innova picked up steam and became a run away success.
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Old 9th April 2020, 09:45   #353
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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
Some Indian automobile magazine trivia from my memory!

- Auto India was the premier Indian auto mags in the early 90's
India Auto Journal, then Car and Bike.

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Old 9th April 2020, 10:02   #354
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Nothing can beat Maruti's move in the early 90's into legitimising a "premium", (which dealers usually used to take under the table), for the 800. In the early 90's, Maruti launched a variant of the 800 known as the 800TK or Tatkaal for the uninitiated. Yes, it was based on the same Tatkaal concept as in railway ticket booking.
And to show those customers were special and had the dough, the car actually had a badge which said 800 TK
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Old 9th April 2020, 10:21   #355
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the car actually had a badge which said 800 TK
I think slightly later they came up with the DX. Deluxe at a premium, leather seats etc. But same premise - pay more, jump waiting period.
(DX later became just another variant)
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Old 9th April 2020, 15:30   #356
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I think slightly later they came up with the DX. Deluxe at a premium, leather seats etc. But same premise - pay more, jump waiting period.
(DX later became just another variant)
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DX was available from 1984 Feb-Mar onwards.
That is just after the SS-80(the glass liftgate model), was launched.

I remember because my father had booked an SS-80 non AC variant in Calcutta from the sole Maruti dealer, Machino Techno. It was supposed to have been delivered in March 1984. The on-road, Calcutta, price quoted for the powder blue car was Rs 49,500.

However the delivery got delayed and Machino Techno contacted us and mentioned that a "DX" version has been launched by Maruti which has AC, semi-leather seats, a radio/cassette player, two speakers, Tinted Glass and front safety belts.
The on-road price would be Rs92,000! Only two colour choices: a dark chocolate and red.
We declined the offer because to cough up Rs 92,000 for an average middle class working Bengali family in 1984 was next to impossible!
So we waited, and finally in June 1984, took delivery of our "normal" 800. The price had risen to Rs 54,000 then!

After that from 1985 end when the "sloping bonnet-drop nose" Type - 2, SB-308 series was launched the DX was always available as an option, obviously priced at a hefty premium.

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
India Auto Journal, then Car and Bike.

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Spot on!

Indian Auto Journal was the first automotive magazine launched followed closely by Car & Bike International.
IAJ was headed by Gautam Sen(who is rightly called "the father of Indian automotive journalism"). With Gautam were his assistants Hormazd Sorabjee, Shapur Kotwal, Ajit Dalvi. Anamit Sen was the photographer specialising in vintage cars. Bob Rupani also pitched in with his articles.

C&B was helmed by Adil Darukhanawala and the two wheeler section was edited by the late Dilip Bam. Harish Samtani also wrote some fantastic scribbles.

Later, IAJ mutated into Auto India. The editorial team was the same. I think after some time Ranojoy Mukherji joined them. C&B continued unchanged.

Auto India continued (and does it still continue?? I dont know), for a long time. Then, from what I heard, there were some management issues and Gautam Sen left. Hormazd took over the editorial responsibilities and continued with the magazine. Somewhere during this time, Adil left C&B and launched Overdrive. Yogendra Pratap, Bertrand D'Souza and one other gent, who heads EVO now, were in his edit team.

In September 1999, Hormazd launched Autocar India and upped the quality quotient of Indian automotive journalism quite a few notches. The theme, handling, format, contents of Autocar India, way back in September 1999 was a treat for us Petrolheads.

After that, a million other auto magazines were born and some perished as well. Notable one's were Gautam Sen's comeback attempt with Auto Motor-und-Sport which fizzled out after a few years. And much later BBC Top Gear's entry and eventual tepid response to its getting withdrawn and (re-launched??). CaR magazine also came in, but I am not aware what happened to it later.

However one good competition to all of these established magazines was Business Standard Motoring, or rather BS Motoring, as it was called.

It was edited by Bijoy Kumar Y (does anyone know what the "Y" stands for?). It started out as a back page supplement to the weekend copy of the Business Standard newspaper and soon gathered a dedicated fan following of its own.
The innovative articles, crisp edits and plain, simple , grammatically correct English had a cross-societal appeal. Its annual 4WD comparison was a treat for readers. I think Bijoy Kumar Y now heads Mahindra Adventure (correct me if I am wrong)

Nowadays you have a million magazines vying for readership with another billion TV channels and YouTube reviews. Nowadays everybody who is anybody is a "petrolhead" and an "auto-guru"

Sometimes I feel, Gautam Sen, the creator of Indian Auto Journal, should have started the TV based auto shows before Siddharth Pathankar took over. Gautam Sen is like Prannoy Roy I guess. Both trained and established the fame and livelihood of their respective deputies, (Gautam groomed Hormazd & Shapur, while Prannoy Roy coached Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami). Good to see pioneering media figures like these from India, albeit in two very different media forms and contents.

Last edited by GTO : 10th April 2020 at 13:46. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 9th April 2020, 16:50   #357
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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
Some Indian automobile magazine trivia from my memory!

- Auto India was the premier Indian auto mags in the early 90's

- First issue I ever read was February 1994 (I think): Cover story was a comparison between Tata Sumo and Mahindra Armada

- I diligently subscribed to Auto India from 1996 to 2002

- Subscription rate was 270/- for 3 years in 96, which "jumped" to 360/- for 3 years by 99. Autocar India currently retails at 180/- per issue!

- Overdrive was the 2nd magazine to become popular, followed by Autocar India. Cannot remember the exact month & year though.

- First ever issue of Overdrive ran a cover story of the soon to be launched Ford Ikon, with a green car on the cover!
I subscribed to overdrive as well and believe i still have 6yrs worth of mags with me even now. Interestingly there used to be a tech section in Overdrive and thats precisely what i used to study for my automobile engg exam way back during my engineering days!
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Old 9th April 2020, 17:13   #358
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Adil left C&B and launched Overdrive. Yogendra Pratap, Bertrand D'Souza and one other gent, who heads EVO now, were in his edit team.
That other gent would be Sirish Chandran. He joined pretty young and i think among the contributors in overdrive, his words most echoed thoughts of some young readers. Him and maybe Shubhabrata Marmar i used to enjoy reading.

Thanks for this wonderful post reminding me the good old days. Somewhere in my store room is a precious repository of Auto India, Indian Auto and Overdrive. My prize for studying well would be summer vacation at uncle's where i could get my time with these magazines. I used to read tinkle on one side and read these magazines at the other end. (I am fairly certain i could not grasp anything other than power figures back then). Then i would spend the rest of the holidays drawing my own version of cars.
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Old 9th April 2020, 17:20   #359
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It was edited by Bijoy Kumar Y (does anyone know what the "Y" stands for?).
The Y stands for "Yatheendranathan " More details here

I remember him. He was very active on the Yamaha RD350 discussions on Yahoo Groups during the initial days. Seemed like a big fan of the Yamaha.

For some time i did think that the "Y" stands for "Yamaha"

Last edited by sunishsamuel : 9th April 2020 at 17:22.
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Old 9th April 2020, 19:20   #360
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Wasn't Qualis discontinued just as Innova was launched. I don't think they ever sold both side by side. That was a big bet by Toyota which paid off.
My bad, yes Qualis was discontinued before Innova was launched.
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