The Nissan Evalia is an almighty flop in the Indian car market. So, when Ashok Leyland decided to badge engineer the MPV to come up with the Stile, sales numbers were expected to improve. Sadly for the Indian utility vehicle maker and Nissan, the more things have changed, the more they’ve remained the same. Here are some numbers. Ashok Leyland managed to sell just 1,005 units of the Stile since the vehicle’s launch in October 2013. These poor numbers, although slightly better than those managed by the Evalia, has set the alarm bells ringing at Ashok Leyland, which now plans to give relaunch the MPV, with new selling and distribution strategies.
At the time of its launch in 2013, the Stile did tie up some loose ends by offering more features than the Evalia sold at that point of time. However, the additional set of features such as a bucket seats for the second row of seats, covered glove box, rear AC vents and sliding windows for the middle row, along with the revised design, has not done anything to get the Ashok Leyland vehicle going. So, it’ll be interesting to see as to how Ashok Leyland manages to add excitement to what is essentially a passenger van, and push sales to a higher orbit. A major re-positioning with a lower price to boot could be one such strategy that the Indian utility vehicle maker is considering.
The other strategy could be establishing standalone dealerships in cities, that are more visible and accessible to MPV buyers. The Stile represents Ashok Leyland’s first foray into the passenger car space in India. Based on the Evalia, but produced at Ashok Leyland’s manufacturing facility in Chennai, the Stile uses the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine in a lower state of tune – 75 Bhp-185 Nm. Available in 7 and 8 seater variants, the MPV’s prices start at 7.49 lakh rupees, going all the way up to 9.29 lakh rupees. In an unusual strategy for badge engineered cars, the Stile is priced below the Evalia, whose prices range between 9.14-12.22 lakh rupees.