Cars That Arrived Ahead of Time in India


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There have been cars in the Indian market that were launched ahead of its times. They went on to become duds. Had they been launched at the appropriate time probably they would been successful. Following are some cars that come to my mind.

Note: not all might have been duds.

Ford Mondeo
Opel Vectra
Palio Adventure
Indigo Marina
Opel Swing
Grand Vitara (without diesel it was bound to fail that too with a huge price tag)
Hyundai Tucson

Whats your take on this? Do you think these cars can be repositioned. If so which car would be successful? Also share other cars that were launched ahead of its time.

My personal favourite is Palio Adventure.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

hyundai tucson i think can be however you have the santafe now and a new crossover ix25 which is soon to launch.
opel swing and fiat adventure AND OPEL VECTRA no way it wouldnt sell even now.
yeah grand vitara with the 1.3 engine would be hideous coz they dont have a diesel engine.
now the capable one is FORD MONDEO man how much i loved this car. surely they should relaunch it.
Being a TATA FAN i really wish they had some changes done to it like the exterior probably something like a Sierra with 4 door OR something like and estate with a bit of good body line as hyundai not boxy as estate was. it would have sold like hot cake.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

Mondeo and Vectra were sure one of my most Favorite Cars all time.Where is that one Hatch that was ahead of it's times but is Under-rated by many.

Daewoo Matiz !

Now I can tell the reason why.

First will be the interior space of her.Anybody sat in Santro,Alto 800,Old Alto,Old ZEN,Maruti 800 can suddenly feel the spaciousness of Matiz espicially at the Rear seat and Legroom with Headroom.It had beautiful interiors compared to ZEN and Santro.2nd will be its Engine.It was an 800cc No-nonsense 3-pot MPFI Engine with TPS with very good tuning and The 800cc was faster than the Santro's 1000cc and the ZEN 1000cc from 0-60 and 0-100.It still has 5 BHP more power and 2 NM More torque than the Alto 800 and 3rd will be Its Safety.It was termed as one of the Safest hatchbacks of India @ That Time.The Matiz has passed the 60% Offset Test,Rod test,Barrier Test AND Rollover Test with 5 Stars which nobody knew in India back then from 1999 and Our VW Polo kid thought that it was the first and only hatchback to pass the Safety,Guess what kid,there is a car who beat you in terms of safety way long long back !!.4th will be Handling.It was a brilliant handler as it had Factory-fitted Strut braces (Holy Cow !!),Lambda loops,Oxygen sensors,Dual way Mesh Frame.The car loves to be thrown into corners like no other. The steering is so responsive and the feedback is so immense, that again, i have no doubt in saying that the only other small cars that give you this level of feedback are the Maruti 800 and Fiat Palio.These things are not found even today in almost any Hatchbacks in India !! .5th will be its Build Quality.It's build quality was better than of Santro and ZEN and I remember that whenever a Matiz passes through,It is a sure head-turner,Whereas both ZEN and Santro just passes without any Gala-gala !!! 6th will be its Ride Quality. Aaahhh What can I say ? Was WAY better than it's Competition those times.It used a different frame design (Dual way Mesh Frame) so with its powerful weapon,Struts which made it to be one tough cookie, soaks in pretty much everything you throw at her.,.You can do crazy speeds (120Kmh !!) and still it feels stable and felt planted.The handling package still sets the tone for other small cars to beat.7th will be her AC Power.the AC is in a league of its own. Cooling, blower speeds, circulation, everything works rather well. The blower though is a tad noisy. But the rest of the package is excellent.The AC still is powerful enough to beat some midsizers.8th will be its Fuel Efficiency.It used to give 15+ in Cutys WITH AC ON and 18-22 Kmpl in Highways with AC ON.Now that's a good number for an 800cc 3-pot. When it launched the Euro-III range, the only cars that did comply with Euro-III norms in India were..... expected eh.... a Damn Mercedes !! .Its quite cheap to get and You can see my Profile pic and compare with Nano !! Mysorians had there love for Matiz which is the only place where Matiz was quite successful !!

So,eh...All these points made me to fall in love with that Brilliant little car who miserably failed because of the Company and its Non-sense Gearbox for Pre 2001 models (Very Stiff and Vibrated like hell !!).Daewoo in its last two years showed inconsistent quality levels. That's what became one of the factors that eventually killed a great car.It is never worth letting her go for such price (30k-60K) today.Finally,She was priced kinda high and only had a Single top-end Version for 2 Years.That made many to go for cheaper variants of Other Cars.Daewoo's Stupidity = Fiailure of a Great Car.Thanks
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

Agreed have owned more than 6 matiz until recent 2010 then had donated it to my friend who salvaged it. Yeah sad ending.but the ac was worth mentioning. No doubt it was the best buy, my friends still call me if they find any running matiz.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

Agreed have owned more than 6 matiz until recent 2010 then had donated it to my friend who salvaged it. Yeah sad ending.but the ac was worth mentioning. No doubt it was the best buy my friends still call me if they find any running matiz.
OT - Don't worry,I will be doing a Complete Ground-up Restoration of A Top-end Matiz in 2-3 Years.I am just 15 so No Cars for now except for RC Models :biggrin:

Guys,Please add that 1.6 Monsters,The Fiat Palio GTX 1.6 and a Supercharged Monster,The Chevrolet Optra SRV - IMHO 8 lakh for the SRV Supercharged with that amazing engine and all options is way more justified than 8.75lac for the NHC Vtec plus. To hell with the boot... What a Looker she was ! 150 bhp and 0-100 in 6.5 seconds with a Top of 206 Km/h.Too Bad,She was a Front wheel Drive.RWD must have been Fun ! IMHO,She is a much better buy than the GTX.

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Re: Ahead of its time

There have been cars in the Indian market that were launched ahead of its times. They went on to become duds. Had they been launched at the appropriate time probably they would been successful. Following are some cars that come to my mind.

Note: not all might have been duds.
Ford Mondeo
Was a complete CBU. Too expensive for its price then. For Rs.22-25 Lakhs was a high price then. Followed by the Fords pathetic service network, if bombed badly. Last saw the only piece left in India was in Fortune Ford, Somajiguda. He was willing to part with it for 11 Lakhs for a 2 years old brand new.

Opel Vectra
This was another CBU for 23-25 Lakhs. Good car but failed dut the already failure OPEL brand. There is only one black seen here in Hyderabad. Owned by a furniture showroom owner in Nampally station road. Good featured car but awfully expensive.

Palio Adventure
Again a good car but ahead of it's time. Good price but debuted when FIAT miserably failed for the second time.

Indigo Marina
Absolute game changer for TATA. To say the only successful station wagon ever sold in India after TATA ESTATE. Lovely looking vehicle, sold quite decently. Though boot was smaller than the Sedan, but had gas shocks and a wonderful touring vehicle.

Opel Swing
Again OPEL saga. One more ESTATE to fail miserably.

Grand Vitara (without diesel it was bound to fail that too with a huge price tag).
Again a CBU. Too expensive for a petrol model a-la KIZASHI and a MARUTI for 25 Lakhs was the last nail in the coffin.

Hyundai Tucson. 22 Lakhs for a 5 seater SUV and from Hyundai killed the car. It was ahead of its time.

Skoda Fabia
Was called a tractor by many. Worst in power and too expensive. Terrible resale value but godly features. Refined and Powerful engine would have made it a successful product.

Skoda Octavia Combi
Great looking station wagon but only one model in the top end. But station wagons are strict no-no for India. I love and admire to own one even today.

Daewoo Matiz
Amazing successful product initially. But failed to keep buyers excited due to the collapse of Daewoo industries. Chevrolet buy out was the last nail in the coffin. Indian keep off the Americans due to their attitude? Their cars are always complicated to maintain. Wondering what will be the future of the ECOSPORT. Fiesta too had such kind of hype, but later became a sales dud.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

for those who don't know chevy spark is sold as chevy matiz in other countries, as its an improved version of matiz. so the few parts are still available for matiz but as spark spares.FYI it was failed due to ASS not being available the car was perfectly fine may be a bit overpriced then. but now it would have been a game changer.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

Chevy SRV would have been a hit now. Wish GM launches it again with the same engine spec. Its worth that money for the looks and performance it delivered. Sure was a head turner.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

Yes,Mr.Karthik.I still think the SRV if launched with that 1.6 Optra Engine and a 2.0 Cruze Engine,Can kill that Jazz once again.She will beat the Punto EVO,i20,Heck even she can scare the hell outta Swift and give swift a run for the Money.She can also get GM India Back on the Game.Slightly beefed up Facia with a better Manual 6 Speed Gearbox and an Automatic and also Supercharger and RWD as an Option could get her back up.Not to forget the Price to be under 8 Lakhs.I will get this than the new Jazz.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

for those who don't know chevy spark is sold as chevy matiz in other countries, as its an improved version of matiz. so the few parts are still available for matiz but as spark spares.FYI it was failed due to ASS not being available the car was perfectly fine may be a bit overpriced then. but now it would have been a game changer.
Chevy Spark would have been seen better sales if they sold it with that 800 CC matiz engine.It was fuel efficent. Matiz, Cielo and Nexia would have been sold many more in case Daewoo doesnt become bankruppt and closed.May be even we saw the current cruze in the Daewoo badge.

HM contessa - reached in india very late.If they updated the car with newer technolgy, may be it sold many in this time too as a premium product.

Did you remember Chevy Forester? I guess it was one of their first models in India.

Toyota Prius? A hybrid with a huge price tag here due to our taxes.

Mitsubishi Outlander, if launched with a diesel engine in a 15 lakhs budget,it would have been different scenario here for mitsubishi.

Mondero?

Lancer- I am still not understand why they are not much interested selling their good products here.They ahve already updated versions available but not intersted to launch in India.

Tata Sumo Grande- they just killed that product.Nothing more to say.

Tata venture - If they are not interested to sell, why they lauching it. It doesnt have a BS4 version.

Maruti Versa- If launched now, it would have been sold more,but Maruti lauched it early and did what Tata done to Grande now.

Like many shared Marina,Advanture & combi would have been a success if launched now with one more row seats.If 3rd row only for kids then also no problem,it would have been seen better sales and they look much better than current Honda mobilo from front and side profiles.
 
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Re: Ahead of its time

Mr.Releesh,Yes you are right.If they had released it with that 800cc Matiz engine,Prices would have been much lower and also It would help many Matiz Owners regarding Engine parts.
 
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