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Old 27th September 2021, 01:43   #16
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re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
1st Gen Honda Jazz.

When it was launched, Honda priced it at a huge premium, and even fanboys turned away. It took a long time but it was followed by a HUGE price correction, >2 lakh IIRC. Then, atleast the fanboys came back - because it really was a very good package - performance wise, as well as structural safety wise.
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First Gen Jazz post discounts was a excellent deal, and many jumped at the opportunity. However IIRC there was a flood somewhere and that drowned a lot of Honda cars, thus stretching the waiting times to 9 months or more. Soon after a year or so, new Jazz made its way on our shores.
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Old 27th September 2021, 04:34   #17
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re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
First Gen Jazz post discounts was a excellent deal, and many jumped at the opportunity. However IIRC there was a flood somewhere and that drowned a lot of Honda cars, thus stretching the waiting times to 9 months or more. Soon after a year or so, new Jazz made its way on our shores.
True, post discounts, the Jazz was excellent value. Still, it’s bane always was it’s pricing. When I bought mine in 2012, the City’s base variant was a mere 40000 more.

There were enough people who appreciated the Jazz for what it was worth. It was essentially a CKD built from kits imported from Thailand, and Honda was selling as many as it could get. Which used to be approx 700 a month. Of course, this was when they only had their (now shut) Greater Noida plant and total capacity was limited to 10000 cars a month.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 27th September 2021 at 04:37.
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Old 27th September 2021, 06:07   #18
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re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

In addition to the abovementioned cars,

1) first generation i20 was a flop till the first gen Honda Jazz prices were announced.
2) Tata Harrier 2019 was a flop till it got a power bump, pano sunroof and AT in 2020.
3) first gen Maruti 1000 was a flop but Maruti 1000 'Esteem' became a runaway success.

Last edited by Geta : 27th September 2021 at 06:09.
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Old 27th September 2021, 06:22   #19
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re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Honda Jazz comes to mind. Did pretty well in the later years of 1st gen and early years of 2nd gen. People slowly saw value in expensive hatchbacks.

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Originally Posted by Agarwal_Aayush View Post
The car that comes to my mind is the Swift. The original was launched only in petrol guise and it didn't give good mileage something Maruti was and still is expected.
I hope you're kidding. The Maruti Swift had a waiting period of 4-9 months in Bangalore in mid 2006 - 1 year after the launch.

Sure, the volumes went up as Maruti introduced a diesel and Indians became more wealthy; Sub 4m tax rules for small cars helped too.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 27th September 2021 at 06:24.
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Old 27th September 2021, 07:06   #20
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re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

If i remember correct, orginal maruti zen also saw lukewarm response when it was initially launched in 1993/94. But then it became a raging hit by the turn of century. Other bhpians can confirm or correct me otherwise.
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Old 27th September 2021, 08:04   #21
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

An excellent thread and some great examples by BHPians. It is true that, if a product fails on launch, it is extremely difficult for it to recover. Once you are badly damaged and in the ICU on a ventilator, it's almost impossible to make a recovery.

That's why it is critical to get the original launch right in terms of timing, price, positioning etc. Here is a related article on the topic - Why its important to get the launch right, and a nice one by RavenAvi too.

The Versa -> Eeco is perhaps the best turnaround we've seen, in terms of sales volumes. But as a brand, Tata has resuscitated the most number of ICU patients. The Aria was a total flop, but the Hexa did far better. The Altroz started off slow, yet is a rockstar today with its expanded engine lineup. The Harrier was a borderline flop in the initial months but is now doing ~4000 units / month (with sibling Safari) which is damn impressive for a 20-lakh Tata. Of course, there are two contributors here:

1. Tata botches up the initial launches more than any other carmaker, although once panic sets in within the organisation (failure of a new product), they burn the midnight oil and become super aggressive.

2. Tata made the right predictions with chip supplies. While other carmakers got scared of Covid and reduced orders with their suppliers, Tata went full speed ahead. The bet is sure as hell paying off!

Last edited by GTO : 27th September 2021 at 08:05.
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Old 27th September 2021, 08:16   #22
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Can I take the liberty to mention a motorcycle?

The BMW 310 GS, was priced atrociously when launched and could not find many takers. Specially with the viral service bills. Rs 1500 for washing

The sales only went up after BMW started offering massive discounts and eventually corrected the price.
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Old 27th September 2021, 10:23   #23
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Most members have mentioned the important models. WagonR, Alto, i20, Versa-> Eeco.

Another model that surprised me when I went through the annals of history was Omni!!!
Believe it or not, the Maruti Van after the initial pent up demands ended up being a slow seller. Maruti carried out a market study and found that people looked at the Maruti Van just as a bigger version of the 800 and as a utilitarian vehicle. So they rebranded it as the Omni and positioned it as a family car with some minor updates. And from there they had loyal steady sales even into its third decade of production till the day it was phased out.

New thread idea- Cars that were flops but ended up having strong demand in the used car market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazayal View Post
Has there been any car which flopped at launch but succeeded afterwards. Toyota Innova might be the only one.
I have heard that the car was flop at launch and started selling only after that Aamir Khan advertisement. However, I'm not sure if that's actually truth or just a good story.
Thanks for the thread !!!

I guess the initial lukewarm response to the Innova was due to mono volume design compared to the Qualis's two box design and also the higher price tag. Ofcourse, just like the Qualis once peope began to 'touch' and experience the Innova, there was no going back. IMO, Aamir Khan's advertisement didn't really have any effect. The only car company that actually benefiited from celebrity endorsement in India is Hyundai with Shahrukh Khan in the initial days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Another example is the Chevy Tavera. When GM launched the Isuzu Panther in India under the Chevrolet name, they positioned it as a premium family car.
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Even in its last year of production, the top variants of the Tavera were ridiculously high priced. IMO, Tavera sales started picking up in the short period when the Qualis was stopped and the Innova was yet to be fully embraced. After Innova sales started picking up, Tavera got a second lease of life with fleet sales, becoming the ubiquitous IT cab above the Indica.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Abhi View Post
If i remember correct, orginal maruti zen also saw lukewarm response when it was initially launched in 1993/94. But then it became a raging hit by the turn of century. Other bhpians can confirm or correct me otherwise.
True. I always thought the Zen was launched around 1998-1999. It was then, when the bright coloured jellybeans started running on the roads near my native. Imagine my surprise, when a distant relative came in his old Zen with MH number plates that corresponded to the mid 90s. Also it had MH410 written in the rear side. Stupid me thought they launched the Zen only in Maharashtra during the initial days. It was only much later that I read the Zen was launched in 1993/4 in India.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:29   #24
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

If I recall correctly, the TATA Indica was declared a flop when the it was released in the petrol edition first. I remember talking to my school friends about it. Then 6 months pass by and the diesel edition is released, we all know what happened after that. Also remember the Scorpio's petrol engine to be really bad and then the diesel engine gained the cult status. I might be wrong the about the chronology but the Indica was not received well in the initial months.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:46   #25
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

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Originally Posted by Raghu M View Post
If I recall correctly, the TATA Indica was declared a flop when the it was released in the petrol edition first. I remember talking to my school friends about it. Then 6 months pass by and the diesel edition is released, we all know what happened after that. Also remember the Scorpio's petrol engine to be really bad and then the diesel engine gained the cult status. I might be wrong the about the chronology but the Indica was not received well in the initial months.
Indica was a runaway hit in its initial months creating huge waiting lists with its "more car per car" campaign, forcing Maruti to cut the prices of the Maruti 800 just a day or two before the launch of Indica. The initial excitement created by Indica died down after the initial 7-8 months as the petrol motor was not upto the mark. But Indica was a runaway hit at its launch.

Same was the case with Scorpio too. Runaway hit since its launch.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:51   #26
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu M View Post
If I recall correctly, the TATA Indica was declared a flop when the it was released in the petrol edition first. I remember talking to my school friends about it. Then 6 months pass by and the diesel edition is released, we all know what happened after that. Also remember the Scorpio's petrol engine to be really bad and then the diesel engine gained the cult status. I might be wrong the about the chronology but the Indica was not received well in the initial months.
When the Diesel Indica came along, cabbies & drivers in our area refused to touch it.
The reason that was quoted was that they could not view the bonnet, which they could see in their Ambassadors.

Of course, a couple of years down the line, these blokes realized how much better the Indica was, and then no one wanted to touch the Amabassador!
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:54   #27
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

I would like to quote Amaze. In the first Brio-ish avatar it was not a great success, but when they did a facelift the volumes shot up to 10,000 per month and stabilized at 7-8 thousand.
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Old 27th September 2021, 11:58   #28
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Going just by numbers, it has to be the new Thar.
Not that the earlier Thar was a failure or a flop, but it was not accepted by majority of the society as it was too utilitarian.

From 600-700 units a month to consistent 3000 units per month on an average and waiting periods extending to a year at some places, it has definitely caught Mahindra unaware.
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Old 27th September 2021, 12:08   #29
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Not quoting any recent models since they are still on sale and real success is yet to be determined.

From the past:

Hyundai Verna: The new fluidic design, new engines and the Diesel AT did wonders for it. Not to mention the interiors/features compared to competition - The City.

Tata Indica: Initially it was a dud due to poor quality and Petrol Engines. The fiat sourced diesel did wonders for Tata. The cab world just loved the car for the engine frugality and the heavy build of TATA.

Chevy Tavera: The cabbies still miss it for the VFM proposition compared to the then competition - Innova. Too bad GM ignored/killed it due to the Diesel emissions fiasco.

Last edited by sunilch : 27th September 2021 at 12:14.
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Old 27th September 2021, 15:52   #30
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Re: Has a flopped car in the Indian market ever made a turnaround?

Correction here
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilch View Post
Tata Indica: Initially it was a dud due to poor quality and Petrol Engines. The fiat sourced diesel did wonders for Tata.
The Indica did not use the Fiat-sourced diesel. The Indica Vista did, but that was rarely used as a cab (and, come to think of it, the Vista and Indigo Manza were duds in sales compared to their plain siblings)
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