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Old 7th July 2020, 01:41   #1
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Default Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Not every car is a Maruti 800, which carved its own previously unheard segment and did wonders.
Some models while attempting at it fail miserably either because they were launched way ahead of their time or because of some of their own inherent problems. Not to mention their price factor too, which the Indian Car market seems to be obsessed with. Anything above 6 Lacs, people start looking for a ‘dicky-wali badi gaadi’ translating : a sedan.

But years later, when a similar priced car is launched, it tries to walk on the predecessor’s steps and yet nails it, we call it a ‘SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR.’

Here are a few examples :

1.) Ford Fusion : Honda WR-V

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In 2004, people upgrading to Rs 6 lac segment cars looked no further than a midsize sedan. Same was the case with the Fusion, which was way ahead of its time. The very aptly named hatchback with its monocoque SUV like characteristics and a high ground clearance meant it could serve well in the city as well as on rough patches.

But people probably didn’t want a ‘WagonR on steroids’ at the price of a decent looking Hyundai Accent or a safe bet like the Maruti Esteem which received a major price cut in its 2004 facelift.

Years later, after a not very good response from other Crossover Hatchbacks, I think it’s the Honda WR-V that really did well.

2.) Sipani Montego : Skoda Octavia

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Launched in 1991 priced at Rs. 11 L, should I say more?
Back when the premium cars included the Maruti 1000, Tata Estate/Sierra priced at Rs 4.50 L to 5 L, which also seemed unaffordable at that time, Sipani motors launched this exorbitantly priced car. I really don’t know why they did this when they were already giving flops in a row. Sure it had a Turbo Charged Oil Burner but only after a decade at a similar price tag, the idea became more acceptable with the advent of our beloved Octy.

Dad’s friend was once a Sipani dealer who offered him to TD a Montego. He told dad to put the pedal to the metal, which on doing dad literally felt the bonnet rising up as it sprinted!

3.) Skoda Yeti / Chevrolet Forester : Renault Duster

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Till the beginning of the last decade, SUV’s meant the traditional Body on Frame construction with 8/9 seating capacity.
Anything smaller or less number of seats meant it’s a pseudo SUV!

I even saw a few accusations made by the buyers on Chevrolet for staging their rebadged Subaru effortlessly tug pulling Scorpio’s and Qualis’ in their ad campaigns.


Similarly, the very practical urban SUV, the Skoda Yeti looked like a Fabia with a boxy roof to many people. Hence, it never gained any popularity amongst people who rather bought a Skoda Laura or a Chevrolet Cruze if they needed a 5 seater.

Years later, the already forgotten Renault launched the Duster at a cheaper price. Taking advantage of cross shopping, it took chunks of potential Honda City and Hyundai Verna buyers who were upgrading from smaller sedans.


So, what cars do you think can be deemed as SPIRITUAL SUCCESSORS to some failed models? Or which ones you think if launched in India by the existing manufacturers could jumpstart a dormant segment?

Last edited by dr.aviansh : 7th July 2020 at 01:53.
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Old 7th July 2020, 08:38   #2
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Incredible thread idea, doc . Absolutely loved the Montego -> Octavia example.

- Mercedes W124 -> VW Jetta. While the W124 wasn't a flop, it didn't do well either because its next-gen W210 replacement was already out in Europe. I see the Jetta as its spiritual successor due to many of the same qualities, including solid build + spacious & understated cabin + sorted road manners + timeless styling.

- Mahindra Classic -> Mahindra Thar. The Classic was developed for export markets and sold in abysmal numbers in India. The Thar was developed for India & was a far more usable Jeep. A true spiritual successor.

- Nissan Sunny -> Maruti Ciaz. The former a flop, the latter a roaring success. The things they have in common are crazy (spacious cabin, workhorse nature, soft ride quality)...even the cons are similar (thin build, boring to drive, average power engines).

- Peugeot 309 -> Mahindra Logan. Old model, European roots, basic but durable nature, divorce between the partners, nice suspension, yuck cabins!

- Mahindra Voyager -> Nissan Evalia?? Immensely practical, but too boxy + utilitarian to crack the private segment.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th July 2020 at 12:04. Reason: Minor typo. :)
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Old 7th July 2020, 09:20   #3
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

This is a nice topic to discuss.

Palio GTX -> Polo TSi - Not an exact replacement, but it gives the exact kind of thrills the 100 bhp Palio used to provide. Two true hot hatches.

But I don't really agree with the Yeti/Forester -> Duster comparison. The two former cars were quite upmarket and very polished, while the Duster is too crude and rough in comparison.
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Old 7th July 2020, 09:44   #4
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Mahindra Voyager -> Nissan Evalia?? Immensely practical, but too boxy + utilitarian to crack the private segment.
I think the Kia Carnival is trying to do what the Voyager did at that point in time.

To add, I honestly feel, the Harrier is a worthy successor to the Safari. The car completely drool worthy like the Dicor.
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Old 7th July 2020, 10:37   #5
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Who could forget these ubiquitous ones?

Toyota Qualis

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Toyota Innova

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Shouldn’t the Ecosport be the spiritual successor of the Fusion, since they’re both closer to the Fiesta than anything else? Unless you’re drawing a line between the targeted price segments of the said vehicles and/or relative size, in which case the whole idea seems a bit vague, given that some of these vehicles have actual successors from the same stable like the Toyota siblings and the Ford siblings. If that’s not the case then the Fusion is more appropriately compared to the Hyundai i20 and MS Swift.

Last edited by TheHelix0202 : 7th July 2020 at 10:40.
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Old 7th July 2020, 10:50   #6
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHelix0202 View Post
Who could forget these ubiquitous ones?
Qualis was not a flop car but a successful model, infact went on to define brand Toyota in India. Innova in its early days was an average performer which later went on to become a blockbuster for Toyota. In this case Innova is actually successor for an already successful car.
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Old 7th July 2020, 11:01   #7
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Hyundai's i20 to Getz.

Last edited by Aditya : 7th July 2020 at 22:50. Reason: Order changed
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Old 7th July 2020, 11:31   #8
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

1.) ISUZU D-Max V-Cross to Original TATA XENON 4X4

2.) TUV 300 Plus to Tavera (Tavera was more successful but similarity is boring but efficient no nonsense workhorse nature)

3.) Toyota Vellfire to imported VW buses of old days.

Last edited by Vishal.R : 7th July 2020 at 11:34.
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Old 7th July 2020, 11:35   #9
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Mahindra Voyager --> Toyota Innova / KIA Carnival
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Old 7th July 2020, 11:37   #10
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Force One "Foday Explorer III"

Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India-f.jpg

to

MG Hector "Baojun 530"

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Both chinese outside mixmatch inside. Force One was said to have its own platform "C in C" which I highly doubt more likely they did some mods on a chinese derivative. The engines were a Daimler sourced 2.2 and a FCA sourced 2.0. They were both badge engineered with the new example being a lot better at it "So much so people buying it are also convinced it's not a chinese car, not that it really matters anyways since its 70-75% MII"

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th July 2020 at 23:06. Reason: Uploading images as attachments instead of hotlinking them.
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Old 7th July 2020, 11:43   #11
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Maruti Versa -> Eeco
Maruti Ritz -> Ignis
Indigo eCS -> Swift Dzire(sub 4 meter variant launched much later).
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Old 7th July 2020, 13:06   #12
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.aviansh View Post
Not every car is a Maruti 800, which carved its own previously unheard segment and did wonders.
Well, even for a Maruti, there was a SSDX to an 800!
a flop 1000 to a successful Esteem - more powerful, better mileage
a flop Baleno to a flop SX4 to another flop Kizashi to a very successful Ciaz
- finally they cracked the 10L barrier!
a flop Zen estilo to the average Ignis
a flop Grand Vitara to a successful Vitara Breeza - talk of price points over capabilities!
Yes, Versa to Eeco the breadbox

Heck, I loved the Baleno and the Kizashi but for the asking price from a Maruti at those point in time!
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Old 7th July 2020, 13:24   #13
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.aviansh View Post

1.) Ford Fusion : Honda WR-V
The spiritual successor to Ford Fusion should be the Ecosport. Ford failed in the first attempt at popularizing the compact SUV in India. They tried again, this time with a more aggressive design. Fortunately for them, the time was also right. Ecosport started the CSUV revolution.
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Old 7th July 2020, 15:06   #14
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by padmrajravi View Post
should be the Ecosport.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHelix0202 View Post
Shouldn’t the Ecosport
There’s a lot of commotion going on because of the Ecosport and Fusion thing. Since this a very subjective thread, opinions can vary. So, lemme tell you why I thought of the WR-V.

Ford Fusion was primarily a hatchback with slightly masculine styling and a high ground clearance. It was marketed it as ‘URBAN ACTIVITY VEHICLE’ if we recall. A similar approach is seen with the Honda WR-V which is essentially a tall hatchback (Jazz) with masculine styling and high GC.

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On the other hand, Premier Rio or Mahindra Quanto should be the rightful Spiritual Predecessors to the Ecosport, if at all. They were the inital Sub 4-Meter Compact SUV’s, that had a feeble impact in the market. It was the Ecosport that attracted customers even at a higher price and made the CSUV a very sought after segment followed by the Brezza, Nexon etc.


4.) Ford Mondeo/Opel Vectra : 2003 Honda Accord/2005 Toyota Camry.

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The former had many niggles and maintaining one was a very expensive deal like most early European Fords. They were sold so less that non car enthusiasts won’t even recognise them today. Hence, the market had a huge potential in between Skoda Octavia and the C-Class.

It was only when the Second Generation Accord came up, it unexpectedly took away sales for people who wanted sub 20L sedans. It was fast, reliable, handled good and served a cheaper alternative to the Merc C-Class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Peugeot 309 -> Mahindra Logan. Old model, European roots, basic but durable nature, divorce between the partners, nice suspension, yuck cabins!
Thanks alot Sir!
OMG! I always had this in my mind when I thought of the 309, but unfortunately it skipped my mind while writing the post. No wonder your replies stand out in the crowd!
Yes, French roots, rugged built, mature suspension and a robust Diesel engine.

Last edited by dr.aviansh : 7th July 2020 at 15:13.
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Old 7th July 2020, 18:11   #15
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Default Re: Spiritual Successors to flopped cars in India

My picks -

Tata Indigo CS --> Maruti Dzire: Initial idea was by Tata but mastered by Maruti. Indigo CS didn't get much success but Dzire is super hit, even today after 13 years too.

Old Verna --> New Verna: Old one was too bad, got totally transformed into all new Verna and got huge success.

Marutu Versa --> Maruti Eeco: Old was flop but new got huge success.
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