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Old 18th November 2009, 13:57   #46
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excellent write up sid. your threads are starting to look like mega serials in the making.
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Old 18th November 2009, 14:49   #47
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What a fantastic writeup Sid !!

I dont know what you do professionally, but you are surely a wonderful writer. To organise the thoughts and neatly shaping them into words is a BIG task and you just did (and have been doing it for so long on TBHP) it so wonderfully. Hats off to you.

I have been a proud owner of Indica Xeta 1.4 petrol for more than 3 yrs now and I must say it is absolutely trouble free till now. Has been giving me ~13KMPL in city with 100%AC and ~17 that I got on my Pune-Vadodara-Pune trip with 100% AC and 4 adults+fully utilised boot is just amazing. And at 3.8L onroad that I got her for; it is a great VFM. Indica Petrol critics - please read this.

Great Going Tata.
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Old 18th November 2009, 14:54   #48
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Part 11: A scoop that changed everything ......

August 20, 2008, 15:30 pm, a gumnaam locality.

While previewing the new second generation Indica, Tata Motors gave minor details about its powertrains-the CVVT safire and 1.3L advanced quadrajet diesel to be precise, on its press release, nothing else. Very few people knew that it was a beginning of a tata-fiat love affair.

While test car sightings became frequent, and camos removed, it was still under speculation about which engines would power the car.

Going back to the history, the alliance between Tata and Fiat meant that Tata easily got access to Fiat's renowned FIRE and Multijet powertrains via Fiat powertrain technologies. And since an engine manufacturing plant was also being set up in Pune, the only way to produce more engines is to plonk them into next generation Tata vehicles, codenamed X1, an entirely new platform that started development work in 2005.

While I was going to meet someone, we were just sitting and discussing about this so-called new Indica. Then suddenly a guy comes from DHL and asks for our signature, a huge courier consignment has landed and what it contained-the first brochures of the new Indica, called the Vista.

I was overjoyed but cautious at the same time. While looking at the specs, the car had everything that the first Indica had in 1999, only bigger, better and more refined. Powered by Multijet and FIRE only added to icing on the cake.

August 20, 2008, 19:55 pm, team-bhp....

A mysterious member logs in trying to give a "first scoop" of his life, by posting the brochure and whoa! that thread flies to a long discussion in just a short period of time! Such strong anticipation we have from the new generation Indica and the Indica brand name plate is itself one of the strongest here on team-bhp, despite its old baggage. Finally we have exact information barring one-the price. Going by Tata's traditions, we can expect shock pricing of the car too.

Meanwhile, the Dicor powered cars were sales disasters as the engine was a design lemon. It simply couldn't cope up with our poor quality fuel and by later that year, the Indica Dicor's life was short lived and was pulled out just after 10 months after its introduction.

Fiat also launched its multijet powered palio at around march 2008 and that car did try to do some respective numbers earlier but later, the vista proved too good for it.

While the nation was crazy about another multijet powered car, the swift D which enjoyed enormous success and was commanding a waiting of 4 months, tata knew it had to make a dent on its sales and the only way-repeat the policy of more car per car at less price.

What was the price band? and how did the Indian public react to it? All this and more to come about the Indica Vista, up next.

Last edited by sidindica : 18th November 2009 at 15:02.
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Old 18th November 2009, 14:55   #49
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Excellent write up Sid. A must read for any Tata/Indica fan, like me.
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Old 18th November 2009, 14:58   #50
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Hey Sid!

Can't imagine that you had to compile so much data to make this brilliant writeup.

I remember being in Delhi and was awestruck at a showroom close to Janpath nearly opposite to Janpath.

I watched the car which stood between a Zen and a Maruti 800 if I remember correctly. But man maybe we crossed roads sometimes and cant imagine I recollecting those days when I used to head to Janpath jsut to look at the car.

Bought a Xeta in 2006, maybe the days of stading next to one, years gone by was deciding factor - subconsciously to buy it...not many regrets though on the buy!

And as pats said - we all now know why you are "sidindica"... trust me mate - it is heartwarming to realise why RATAN TATA has said over the years and how you brought it all alive
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Old 18th November 2009, 15:06   #51
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Great Sid, I can imagine the effort you have put into this. Stuff for auto history text books (if ever there be one)!
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Old 18th November 2009, 15:28   #52
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What an amazing compilation of data and the associated narrative - Brilliant stuff this

Brings back the old memories of those full page ads in TOI saying <more car per car> with Maruti reacting by dropping the price tag of M800. Surely Tata has come a long way and they can only improve and better themselves from here on

Regarding the Vista, I have a feeling that Tata could possibly have done away with the Indica naming for this new platform. It anyways is a totally new car with nothing shared as such with the older sibling. The TAXI tag of Indica might not give Vista the due it truly deserves.

I am particularly impressed with the continuous evolution of technology under the hood done by TATAs - right from the indigenous 1st generation diesel engine to DICOR to MULTIJET ( not to forget the CNG variants ). I even read somewhere that there are plans for Electric variant of Indica

Whatever we may say wrt quality issues of TATA, one thing is undisputed - TATA cars provide one of the best rear seat ride space and comfort in their class. I had a chance to travel in Indica for close to 12 hours a couple of times and it really was very comfortable. It really feels good to see our very own INDIAN manufacturer doing a great job.
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Old 18th November 2009, 15:41   #53
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Good write up sid.I do remember my old days, an two page combined middle paper ad in The Hindu paper and I stuck it in my bedroom.

I still remember and I was over excited to see the ad of V2 where they drive three black V2 in two wheels and show how dynamic the V2 is.

As far as I remember it's the only ad to air such car a stunt till now in India.
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Old 18th November 2009, 15:58   #54
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Great writeup sid. I am as big a fan of your writing as that of TATA. More then anything, Indica brings in a feeling of patriotism. I remember in 1999 there was a competetion in one of the computer magzines, We were to choose the best small car in India and give our reason in a slogan. The choices were Santro, Zen and Indica.

I won an UPS with the slogan "Indica, because it is "A world class car with Indian price and is the nations pride".

I visited auto expo for the first time in my life in 1998, travelling all the way from Karnal, just to have one look at the Indica. I still love this car, dispite the horror stories I have read, taxi image and negative feedback.

Last edited by Car-Agey : 18th November 2009 at 15:59.
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:11   #55
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Part 12: Tata Indica Vista. Changes everything if you look at the vista view of life.

While the whole nano drama was unfolding in our country regarding the relocation of the plant and the delayed launch date, in the evening of August 24, 2008 Mr. Ratan Tata formally announced the first derivative of a totally new platform codenamed X1, the indica vista, 3 years after the commencement of the project.

The importance of X1 cannot be underestimated. It embodies all the know how that Tata motors has learned in the past 10 years based on the old Indica platform and improves dramatically upon it.

The idea is simple. Take all the positive attributes of the old Indica and blend them into a bigger, bolder and better overall package at the same time improving upon the old Indica faults of quality and refinement.

The old Indica dicor and turbo models were eventually phased out, so did the higher varients of xeta.

The design had to make the car instantly recognisable as an Indica while a the same time looking contemporary with the current trends.

Much of the design and engineering was carried out at Tata's UK research and development with testing at MIRA track, and the lead stylist, Justin Noryek of ex I.DE.A gave the car an evolutionary silhouette.

The teardrop petal shaped headlamps were bigger extending all the way upto the A pillar, the smiling grill was even bolder and merged well with the air dam and when viewed from dead front, the car looks very imposing and has a character of its own.

The 2 box design is retained, the side made more curvier, with a central character line on the bonnet, and a prominent crease on the side with a uniquely designed side repeater lamp under the huge OSRVM made it look more contemporary, yet giving a presence of an Indica.

The rear vertical taillights have extended all the way up to the roof and not the best part of the design as though it looks slimmer, it does not help to reduce the visual bulk of the car. It looks great in shades of red and orange though.

The interior shares the same curvy exterior design philosophy and Tata has made efforts to make sure that the attributes of space and comfort, an indica trademark are retained and improved upon. The dashboard this time is designed keeping both domestic and export markets in mind and the unique placement of central instrument cluster does take getting used to but as a result of it, the ergonomics look pretty messed up and apart from the huge glove box, there is not much storage space, even the door pockets are disappointingly small and only what you you get additional is a seat-under tray under the co-driver's seat.

What the interior does excel though is in seat comfort and head, leg and shoulder room. The interior volume makes other cars in this class feel distinctly cramped, the S-badged ones in particular. Quite simply, at the quoted price, you cannot get that level of space and comfort that the vista provides you. A combination of tilt steering and driver's seat height adjuster makes it easy to find the perfect driving position-something that the old Indica lacked sorely. Lumber support adds another icing to the cake.

The front seats are very spacious and one 6 footer can sit behind another without feeling claustrophobic. The cushioning, though form is good for long drives and the seat design suits all human frames.

The rear is where the car truly excels, quite simply the seat comfort is best in class and the angle of inclination is just optimum and the cushioning is fantastic. Under thigh support is also optimum that makes it an ideal chauffeur driven car for those on a budget, or those families who want a one-size-fits all car within a decent budget.

While these issues were solved, now came the most important part-the powertrains to power this car.

The answer is as simple-simply plonk Fiat's renowned multijet engine with fiat gearbox that Tata had access to (similar for the petrol) and the car is suddenly a compelling package at least on paper.

This time, the whole chassis and suspension was a cost effective monocoque and semi independent twist beam design aimed at improving ride and handling, whereas making it simple to design, engineer and build over the complex fully independent suspension of the old Indica.

When the car was launched, as expected it was priced lower than the smash hit swift diesel, about 4,50,000-4,77,000, that is the top end quadrajet (aura) powered was priced within a smidgen of base model swift LDI.

The SAFIRE petrol with a simple 8V SOHC 1.2 motor was also priced quite competitively, between 3,50,000-3,90,000 approx, cheaper than its rivals and easily offering the best price to size to features ratio backed by an award winning ad campaign where the vista drives through a brilliant landscape and the car itself looks gorgeous then and there, especially in red. It says "changes everything", signaling a new era for Tata and persuading public to change the way you had seen an Indica before.

Initial reaction is cautious but positive and the car receives about 5,500 orders within the first 2 weeks.

The curtains for the old Indica are almost down and now the model is repositioned as a budget diesel car for taxi drivers and people living in rural areas. What will happen to it is still unknown but the car still serves its purpose sufficiently. It is available only in DLE and DLS models as of now.

The Indica turbo is replaced with the Vista TDi (aimed again at budget seekers and people living in semi urban areas who want all the trusted qualities of Indica in a bigger and better package but want a simple easy to maintain diesel engine) with a retuned ECU producing 71 ps, available in base terra and mid level aqua varients.

The Indica dicor has been replaced by Vista quadrajet again available in base terra, mid level aqua and top end aura models, targeting swift and ritz buyers who want a spacious, comfortable, cheap and practical option.

The Vista safire replaces the Xeta top end models which have been phased out. It is now an alternative to I10, getz, swift and U-VA etc buyers who again want a budget petrol car.It would be wrong to compare this car with I 20 and jazz as Tata have positioned the punto for this. While the engine is not that impressive, still it gets the job done for what its built for, cheap value point A to B transportation.

The old Indica Xeta still continues to be produced for budget buyers/ CNG private taxi operators and is hardly seen on the roads, in fact not many people are aware that it even comes with an LPG option to tackle Santro, wagon r and spark LPG in the market. Some time back tata launched an ugly looking "sport" edition of the xeta and it is now pulled out due to dismal sales, especially many people who have bought this as CNG taxis!

Its only a matter of time before the Xeta is phased out, so does the old Indica, which will die a slow natural death, but again, it will remain as the car attached to our hearts, as the first and the finest example of Indian engineering, one that gave Tata motors its recognition it now deserves.

Now what's in store for the future and what if we look back again? Find out next...
Attached Thumbnails
Tata Indica- a tribute-3566379595_ccf9a0bd0c_b.jpg  

Tata Indica- a tribute-3566383161_8dbc1ba4c2_b.jpg  

Tata Indica- a tribute-3567190748_3e33c2276a_b.jpg  

Tata Indica- a tribute-3567191776_951a1edb33_b.jpg  

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Old 18th November 2009, 16:15   #56
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You have done quite a lot of home work and you have done it well
Great write up, quite informative.
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:29   #57
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Sid - I am overwhelmed with pride after reading this. I cannot begin to imagine the hard work and effort you have put to pen this down so neatly for us. BRAVO

Mr Tata - If ever you read this, Thank you for giving us the Indica.

Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
A mysterious member logs in trying to give a "first scoop" of his life, by posting the brochure and whoa! that thread flies to a long discussion in just a short period of time!
I think we all know who that was...

Thanks Again.

Last edited by iceman7 : 18th November 2009 at 16:32.
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Old 18th November 2009, 17:08   #58
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Now what's in store for the future and what if we look back again? Find out next...
Is that a hint for the next scoop

Last edited by safari_lover : 18th November 2009 at 17:11.
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Old 18th November 2009, 17:16   #59
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[COLOR=black]Excellent write-up Sid, I am also a prouder owner of the silver colour 2001 Indica V2 DLE, it’s truly value for money. The first time when I checked the mileage of the vehicle it gave to 18KMPL in city. The cost of diesel then was around 18Rs/ltr and I was exited with the cost of running the car. I have driven the car close to 91K KM and even now I get the mileage of 17 to 18KMPL. Had 4 tyre changed last week at 90545KM, Tyre dealer was not able to believe I have driven the company fitter MRF tyre for 90K KM. [/COLOR]
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Old 18th November 2009, 18:27   #60
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The finale: The past, present and future

Let me Begin with a nice poetic song here..

[The Past]
Past - well now let me tell you about the past
Past is filled with silent joys and broken toys
Laughing girls and teasing boys
Was I ever in love?
I called it love
I mean - it felt like love
There were moments when...
Well, there were moments when...

Go out with you?
Why not?
Do I like to dance?
Of course
Take a walk along the beach tonight?
I'd love to
But Don't try to touch me
Don't try to touch me
Cause that will never happen again
Shall we dance?

[The Future]
Tomorrow - well... Tomorrow is a long way off
Maybe someday I'll hold somebody's hand
Maybe somewhere someone will understand
You know - I used to sing: "A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket"
I'm all packed up and I'm on my way and I'm gonna fall in love
But at the moment it's doesn't look good
At the moment it will never happen again
I don't think it will ever happen again

What you have just read above is what stands true in most of our life, just like it stood true in Indica's past.

Its been almost close to 11 years since the first Indica was rolled out and what Tata motors was then is totally different from what tata motors is today.

Well, in these 11 years, kids grew into teens, teens to adults, adults to senior citizens, and people like me grew in front of Indica studying at high school, then graduation and then post graduation.

Also, the number of auto mags have grown from just 1 to over 11 in the past 11 years.

From a product perspective, 11 years is a hell lot of time in redesigning a new generation but from a company perspective, one that just started making proper cars only recently, the time is relatively short and the learning curve that Tata has been through is simply unreal. And the alliance with Fiat has only made its new generation products better.

Surely, Tata has come a long way in delivering world class decent quality VFM products at affordable prices keeping the view of an average Indian car buyer in mind.

To celebrate a decade of Indica rollout, tata celebrated in style by launching a limited edition vista in white/ black colour combination with different better quality interiors and enhanced features, inclusive of bluetooth connectivity etc, the car sold decently.

While tata has never disclosed exactly how much amount of Vistas it sold, nor given any sales breakup, its performance has been just about OK, but could be better.

The competition some 11 years back was almost nonexistent and today is cut throat. Besides, the personal disposal income of people have increased and people can afford to buy sophisticated expensive diesel hatches (like Ritz, swift, I20, punto, fabia) etc, so the vista's USP of "more for less" is of almost no use today.

While the product still has some flaws, we are sure that tata will address them in the coming years, in terms of improvements to fit/ finish, adding safety gadgets (A MUST) and upgrading mechanicals to make it more exciting to drive and own.

What is surprsing (on a positive note) is that Tata's future looks very bright. Look at the timeline of launches between the new Indica (vista) and the new dramatically improved Indigo (manza)-just 13 months as compared to 4 years for its older siblings (december 30,1998-december 18, 2002 respectively).

The manza is perhaps Tata's best effort yet at passenger car segment, one that optimally blends all the ingredients to make it an almost perfect VFM 3 box car and the first worthy alternative to the super successful dzire. Only time will tell whether the car will set cash registers ringing but looking at the reviews, I am sure it will.

I strongly suggest tata to upgrade the vista with Manza's interiors and 15" wheels and add safety gadgets (the South African vista gets it, why not ours?), besides, almost all manufacturers provide them as options on budget hatches. Only then it will be a better all rounder, a more complete car.

One more big problem that plagues tata-below par dealer service standards, and poor dealer attitude and at many places, incompetent mechanics and service advisers, as some members have experienced here on this forum. Efficient manpower and extensive training is required to iron out bugs in this area. Same goes for Fiat too.

But one thing that we have noticed is that post Tata Fiat alliance, all the tata-fiat showrooms are more swanky looking, up to international standards in the look and feel and that greatly enhances the car buying experience, only thing required-better sales personnel to handle Fiat customers and rightly differentiate tata products from fiat, so that both brands gain and no one loses.

The future looks good for this alliance and for the Indica family as a whole, and once again thanks a lot to Mr. Ratan Tata and his team for bringing gem of products like the Indica, Manza and the Nano and soon to be launched Indicruz and the new Safari.

We can just say one phrase: All the best to Tata motors in all their future projects and hope to see many exciting products from you soon.

For me, it was a great experience on penning down this write up live in front of many members here and for me, it was just a walk down memory lane and decided that this should be written, so why not express your feelings?

After all, more life per car changes everything, doesn't it?

(A request: Its a celebration to all Indica owners, past and past alike, so why not take this opportunity to post as many pics as as possible of the indicas you own/ owned here? I would love to see them!)

(This article written with inputs from auto India, auto car India, BS motoring, Tata motors website and team-bhp, special thanks to you all!)

Last edited by sidindica : 18th November 2009 at 18:29.
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