Indian Auto Industry - History & Timeline


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A History of Standard Motor Products, Madras

They first started out assembling Vanguards, and I think Ferguson tractors, before moving on to the 8s, 10s and Pennants in succession. Curiously, the Pennant was badged a 10 as well. Pennant production ceased in mid 61, but the Companion continued till late 62.

In early 62 they launched the "Triumph" Herald (948cc, similar engine as 10), though badged as the Standard Herald. The bonnet badge had the "Standard" script over the ensign badge base. The very earliest cars (62 only) still consisted of a lot of hand-me-downs from the home market cars, and hence some cars came with the white faced Jaeger speedo, some had a black face. They had at least 4-5 different kinds of steering wheel and horn button colour combinations, coming with off-white, grey and black steering wheels with assorted horn buttons.

This has been confirmed by the erstwhile Standard Motors dealer here in Pune, which can make identifying a genuine 62 model car quite a task!. These cars had a dark grey dash with light grey switches, like the Herald S type, I'm told.

In 1963, the cars had a little more local content. The 2 tone combinations or paint were not offered anymore, and the front sidelights were now of the single bulb design, (62 had larger dual bulb units). The dash now was covered with a wood veener sheet, and local Yenkay meters were incorporated (separate speedo, fuel guauge, and amp). The switches were now black.

These cars were unchanged till 66, when the mark II was launched.

The major change was using the Vitesse bonnet, but with only one pair of headlights, one pair of sidelights, and indicators incorporated in the front end (from the Fiat 1100, which was the largest selling car in India at the time, and along with the Hindustan Ambassador/Morris Oxford was the only competition), as opposed to the 2 sets of lights on the Vitesse. The cars upto the earliest mark IIs had the unique roof badges with "herald" on them, but were soon dropped. A later model had a recessless bootlid. Then for a short while there was a mark II with a restyled roof (which was designed with the 4 door model in mind), and a bootlid without a recess.

This model also gained trim around the taillights. This was also the first model where the silver faced meters were switched to black faced. Made just for a few months, it was soon replaced by the 4 door Mark III, owing to Indians having rather large families!

This design was an original one, just never put into production till the mark III came along. While it featured the now familiar Mark II bonnet the sidelights and separate indicators were replaced with the single assemblies lifted from the later mark Is. The Bonnet badge too was restyled. All previous heralds fetured 8 & 10 style hubcaps, the mark III had the herald "dimpled" ones. The steering wheel was redesigned, and now looked exactly like the ones from the standard 8!

In late 69-70, the factory had indigineously developed a station wagon version, called the Herald Mark III Companion. Extremely rare, it featured a fibreglass tailgate and roof. These cars had bonnets with twin headlights just like the Vitesse. These cars are practically non existant today.

Finally in 71, the Gazel was indigenously developed. While based on the mk III, it featured the live rear axle and suspension from the Toledo. This was because the heralds rear suspension was just not suitable for Indian roads, and were notorious for axles cracking. The car was Indias first indigenous design, designed by Nazir Husein.

Then in 1981, STAMPRO bought the tooling for the Rover SD1, and began production, but with a 1991cc vanguard engine! The car was a miserable failure, with a lot of people putting down deposits, and getting no refunds after producttion ceased! There were plenty of problems with the employees, who were on strike for years! In fact, just last month there was a tender floated in the newspaper anounncing that the banks are auctioning off whatever remains of the factory, the final nail in the coffin.

Source
 

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Thread Starter #19
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1980 to 1990 - Japanese Autos Invades India

Maruti and M-800

Maruti Udyog’s inception came in the country in 1981 under the provisions of the Indian Companies Act, 1956. During this era, scooters or two-wheelers had a long waiting as industrial production was low in numbers. There were only two car models in the name of Indian car industry, Hindustan Ambassador and Fiat Padmini. Later, Maruti Suzuki made a successful move with its ever running Maruti 800 in 1983. With the launch of Maruti 80, Indian manufacturing and car industry saw a new dawn.

maruti_800.JPG maruti_start.jpg maruti_start_1.jpg


On roads ruled by the Ambassador and the Premier Padmini, not many gave the 800 a chance. Yet, in just two years, it became India’s largest selling car. By becoming a middle-class necessity and putting more women behind the wheel than any other car in India, the 800 redefined the concept and class of mobility.

maruti_800_0.JPG

Source - maruti suzuki website, wikipedia, google image
 

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Nobody can hate the M800 do they!! The car that changed the history of Indian automobiles and now in its final stages!!
 
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True.
The M800 was the car which brought the concept of reliability on to Indian roads.
Was a time when my father used to travel with two bottles of rum in the Amby to say thanks to the truck drivers who will help repair the stopped vehicle on the highways.
Not having to top up the radiator every day, and not having to say a prayer before cranking up the ignition was something that the M800 brought to India!!
 
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Yeah 800 was peace of mind at that time.

the first type from 83 to 86 was imported as such. Not even assembled here.

late in 85 , it was assembled and from 86 the type -I was introduced , fully built here.
these were also first of type to give a real fresh car to customers , unlike amby's which were driven from calcutta. My uncle had a taxi business then and have said even new cars come with broken parts even in axle. welding is done here again .

These are info that i heard , not through books or nets.

The waiting period of 800 was so long.

dad bough a omni because of this.
The waiting period for 800 was 6 months (no guarantee ) , but for omni it was 2 months(was given guarantee) .For gypsy it was 3 months then and was 20K more than omni. Our omni was 97K then , Tax and insurance extra. Miss the gypsy!
 
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Marutis were always assembled in India, in the plant in Gurgaon.
It was just that the initial vehicles had a lot more of import content, which kept going down as the localization increased.
The changeover from the original soap box to the shape seen today was when the import content saw a huge drop.
 
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Maruti Micro-Van - Omni

This was the second vehicle to be launched by Maruti, one year after the 800, in 1984.
omni.JPG
This micro-van had same engine and power train as the Maruti 800. It was launched with low roof and high roof version. High roof version was latter withdrawn possibly due to stability problems. Over the year cosmetic changes in terms of seating arrangement were introduce. Maruti Omni was very popular as transport vehicle especially as Taxi all over the country due to its price, low ownership cost, fuel efficiency.
high-roof.jpg
Wherever you look you will see the Omni A credible name when it comes to multi utility vehicles in India is that of Maruti Udyog.
 

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Just a minor change in language, the High-Roof was not withdrawn due to stability issues, but rather a loss in demand due to perceived stability issues!!
 
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Oh i have never heard about this high roof stuff in Omni? Can anybody upload the picture??


Yeah even though the Omni is going to be phased out soon , i still see lots of Taxi's plying in Chennai!
 
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there is a pretty bad image available in a different auto site!!

2893z.jpg
 
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Hey Aditya your link is not working!!


Oh yeah i have seen quite a few Omni's with this roof!!
I think there was a bit of censorship at work!!
Anyways, RSM has done the honours, the pic I was referring to is the first one he pasted.
 
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