Team-BHP > The Indian Car Scene

View Poll Results: Would you buy a flopped car?
Yes, if I really like it or the price is good 451 73.81%
No way I'm bringing a flop home 160 26.19%
Voters: 611. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th January 2020, 21:12   #31
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Pune
Posts: 23
Thanked: 33 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

What about models which are flop in India but are exported in pretty decent numbers outside?
Recently I was in market for mid-size sedan and was seriously considering Nissan Sunny.
During research I realised that Nissan exports quite a decent number of them.
Had it been a good buy?
I wanted a workhorse and it ticked most of the boxes.
Old 14th January 2020, 21:31   #32
Distinguished - BHPian
Hayek's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,462
Thanked: 9,358 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Frankly, I don’t see any harm buying a Flop Car, except if the manufacturer shuts down and pulls out of India during the warranty period.

The taste of the masses is no arbiter of the quality of a car. And a model that is a flop in India is very often a huge success elsewhere.

My own fleet has had several flop cars.

We bought our Hyundai Getz 1.3 at a time when the Swift had wait lists and premiums to get delivery in 2-3 months. We got the color of our choice, a discount, trouble free service as my wife’s primary car for over 7 years, and a decent resale price after my sister in law used it to learn driving two years later.

The Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI DSG. Yes, it suffered two mechatronic failures, and several other problems - but it never failed to put a smile on my face while driving it. And to this day, my wife and kid miss the rear seat leg room it had.

The VW Vento 1.6 AT. It’s still going strong, 7 years and 70,000 kms later. It has had its share of faults - but barring one occasion, nothing that would break the bank (and even that got resolved after some push).

So if you live in a city like Bombay, with a choice of dealerships, go ahead and buy the car you like - and don’t bother about what others think. Yes , the resale values on these cars may be low. But if like me, you keep cars for over 7 years, the NPV of your resale value is just half the value - and whether you recover 40% of the value or 30% of the value at that time does not make such a big difference.
Hayek is offline   (11) Thanks
Old 14th January 2020, 21:42   #33
manjunathkl's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 125
Thanked: 451 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

People who love the peace of mind, must not buy flopped cars.

I owned 2 cars at for about 9 years. For my luck, both the cars were too good cars, very well built. The only problem was with their manufacturers - one left India the other stopped selling that brand of cars. Any guesses?

1. Chevrolet Beat
2. Fiat Linea

A lot of friends and family have joked on me about this. True coincidences happen.

So my conclusion is, if you are using the car primarily for family, for long drives and/or many members of the family drive it, it is a must to keep that car in mint condition. It becomes very difficult to keep a car in mint condition if the car is flopped or discontinued. But if you have a beater car, which only you use, and you don't mind if somethings are broken for extended periods of time. It is ok to have any car in that place.

On the other hand discontinued cars (once successful) is far better option than flopped cars. Service centers will stock up the spares for a long time with the expectations that many such cars will be serviced. You won't have any issues getting spares and service.
manjunathkl is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 14th January 2020, 23:36   #34
Team-BHP Support
SmartCat's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,430
Thanked: 30,552 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

If I look at my own garage, it looks like I sub-consciously gravitate towards flop cars or cars that have never sold more than 500 units per month.

- Chevrolet Optra (petrol)
- Honda Civic (not exactly a flop, I agree, but not a high volumes model either)
- Maruti A-star (flop by Maruti standards)
- Honda BR-V


- Uniqueness and exclusivity
- Good deals when buying pre-owned
- Many such cars have 'character'. They might not be jack-of-all-trades crowd pleasers, but usually is master-of-some.

Taking the example of cars from my garage -

Chevrolet Optra LT model - way ahead of its time in terms of interior quality (leather/wood/soft touch plastics) and features (sunroof, steering mounted audio controls, 8 speaker audio system, cooled glovebox, electric folding mirrors etc) - all this in the year 2004
Honda Civic - futuristic interiors, steering weight/feel/feedback, handling
Maruti Astar - good looks, nice to drive
Honda BRV AT - insanely practical, decent power and driving dynamics for a 7 seater


- Poor resale value
- Consumers usually get it right. These flop models almost always have significant drawbacks (Eg: high price, lack of features, service experience, poor practicality etc) when compared to its peers.

Taking the example of cars from my garage -

Chevrolet Optra (petrol): Poor service experience when compared to Corolla or Elantra, poor resale value.
Honda Civic - Poor practicality (low GC, low seating, soft rear suspension that bottoms out on bad roads)
Maruti Astar - Poor practicality (rear legroom, boot space)
Honda BRV - High price (compared to peers), lack of now-common features (touchscreen HU, reversing camera)

Last edited by SmartCat : 15th January 2020 at 01:20.
SmartCat is online now   (13) Thanks
Old 14th January 2020, 23:52   #35
Team-BHP Support
BlackPearl's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Calcutta/London
Posts: 3,413
Thanked: 14,748 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

I have bought a fair share of flop cars in my life, but no regrets. I got good resale value for the Palio and previous generation Baleno. Among the current cars that I have, the Bolero is quite popular but LX 4WD is very rare. I don't intend to sell it, so no issues. The Thar is a popular car on Team-Bhp, but number-wise it is a flop. I don't intend to sell it either. So I am fine with buying flop cars as long as they serve my purpose.
BlackPearl is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 00:01   #36
itsashishsharma's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 858
Thanked: 923 Times

When I bought my new Fiesta in July 2015, it was one pf the last Fiestas sold in India. My reason to buy a Fiesta was simple, I wanted the best handler and man I am in love with it. It was difficult to get it, the showroom tried their best to sell me an Ecosport instead, I could afford a Trend but had to go for Titanium as only a Titanium was available. I maintain it well, it will be with me for ~10 years and I can't care less about the resale then. I got it for 12.50L, a City top end used to cost 13.50L for a petrol. The savings I will be doing on diesel/petrol will more or less take care of poor resale value. I bought my car to buy it, not to sell it. The fun I am getting out of it every day can't be weighed against things like snob value/resale value/rear seat space.
Heavy/better build quality is another plus.
But I have never faced any issues due to it being a flop model. Spare parts are readily available, service is cheap and service staff is professional.

Last edited by itsashishsharma : 15th January 2020 at 00:02.
itsashishsharma is offline   (10) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 06:57   #37
Senior - BHPian
coolkurt's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 1,544
Thanked: 1,618 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

For the last 7 years, both cars I owned were not available/seen on the roads that often. The Fiat Grande Punto and the Honda Civic.

The Honda Civic was by no means a flopped car. It enjoyed success in its time and was discontinued in 2012 only because the market was moving towards diesel. However, I had never faced issues with parts availability even in 2019.

The Fiat Grande Punto was a fabulous car let down by its makers. The car flopped, but it still made heads turn, was reliable all through my ownership period of 10 years. The design, superior build quality were it's hallmarks. I got lucky at the time of resale when I got close to 23% of the price back, after 10 years, for a petrol hatch that was far from popular!
coolkurt is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 07:55   #38
Distinguished - BHPian
mayankk's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 4,837
Thanked: 6,136 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

I used to have the fiesta 1.6 which I felt was quite rare, though spotting 3-4 a day was a norm. It didn't have any turnaround time at FNG or A. S. S. for availability of parts.
However, I moved to the granddaddy of cars that flopped, the Tucson. The used car hiccups meant that I faced the parts problem right when I got it trying to get it up to a perfect state. Parts are available, but take a long time. However, the good part about it that it's very sturdy, and doesn't break down. The best bit about the car is that you only ever get to see one other in maybe a month, mostly not even then. As far as exclusivity goes, that's right up there no?
Of course, if you're willing to live with that, flopped models have the best prices.
mayankk is online now   (2) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 09:07   #39
Distinguished - BHPian
dhanushs's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bathery/BLR
Posts: 3,955
Thanked: 7,917 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Well, flop cars don't necessarily commend lower pricing in the used car market or while buying new. Eg: The Yaris, and The Hybrid Toyotas. These cars were flopped only because of their higher pricing.

Also, another case is of cars like Palio 1.6 Sports, Abarth Punto, T-Jet, Fiesta 1.6, Lancer Cedia, Mitsubishi SUV's, where the cars are just brilliant and if the product appeals to you, buying these cars at a discount makes the most sense. Also, these cars still carry a decent price tag in the used car market for decent examples.

Now, cars who don't appeal so much and were also priced competitively and still were a flop? Well, here what you've said makes the most sense. The flopped for a reason, and the reason stays, even if you get a good discount on it.
dhanushs is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 09:13   #40
Team-BHP Support
GTO's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 62,479
Thanked: 220,301 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Mod Note: Poll added to spice things up ! Please vote & thank you for the awesome discussion.

I voted "Yes". Have a flopped car (Sunny) and am very happy with it. No regrets.
GTO is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 09:24   #41
Team-BHP Support
vb-san's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S'pore/Thrissur
Posts: 6,364
Thanked: 8,787 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

I don’t consider some of the models mentioned here as flop models – for example a Skoda Superb or a Honda Civic; these cars are in a segment which doesn’t do stellar numbers overall, but probably were doing well within its segment. The Superb for example gave a new life to its segment when the previous generation model was launched.
vb-san is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 10:29   #42
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: KA50
Posts: 644
Thanked: 1,151 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Being an influencer rather than a car owner during the noughties (2000-2010) I must admit I made by father buy two such 'flops' (that too back to back). I had never used this term to describe those cars but I guess in this forum for this thread; it is apt
  • Tata Indica V2 LXi MPFI petrol 2001 MY - Yes! There was such a petrol powered Tata Indica that far back and it forever confused the hell out of petrol pump staff. If I remember correctly it was the most powerful family hatch back then with strong performance and incredible space. It's 'flopness' hit us only when we sold it (or were trying to)since nobody wanted it!
  • Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP Ambiente 2008 MY - Lovely European hatch which was contemporary by global standards (way ahead of Indian). Height adjustable front passenger seat, 3 point seatbelt for rear middle passenger, heated OVRMs (yes! Skoda forgot to delete this), isofix mounting points were some of the features which elude many hatchbacks to this day. We had a trouble free ownership experience but for jammed door lock gremlins for 11 years and surprisingly found a willing buyer recently
  • My personal flop being used to this day, a 2008 MY Kinetic Blaze - still going strong and hopefully till the day I get to upgrade to a maxi scooter
GeeTee TSI is online now   (3) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 10:32   #43
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 14
Thanked: 17 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Buying a used car that has flopped (irrespective of the brand) has its upsides.
Massive depreciation and exclusivity
Otherwise parts would normally be hard to source.
That said, its best to buy a used car from a popular brand that has flopped in the market - example, Maruti Kizashi
aryag1998 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 10:56   #44
Senior - BHPian
bluevolt's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 3,262
Thanked: 3,420 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Considering snob value per se, I may not buy a flopped car (or a car generation older as well). But the main practical reason, I will not buy a flop car as we keep our cars for long duration (~10 years) even though the manufacturer has strong service network/spare parts availability.

For example, when we bought our 3rd Gen City in 2010, we also had the option to buy SX4/Verna with great discounts. But we bought the City.

In 2020, the 3rd Gen City still doesn't looks or feels any less contemporary than any other car currently in market (a new Ciaz for example); this would not have the case if I had bought an SX4 in 2010!

If someone buys a new car every 3-4 years, they may get away with any niggles a flop car including resale etc as they will not be conscious about resale anyway as depreciation is anyways the maximum in this period.

PS - Opinions about flop cars are subjective & personal, any SX4/Ciaz/Verna owners please don't take offense

Last edited by bluevolt : 15th January 2020 at 10:58.
bluevolt is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 15th January 2020, 10:57   #45
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Coimbatore
Posts: 50
Thanked: 87 Times
Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Not to mention you will be sick and tired of explaining to everyone “ why did you buy that flop model vs a successful one”
gb97ce6 is offline   (1) Thanks

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2021,
Proudly powered by E2E Networks