The Tucson was a rival to the Honda CR-V, and the Hyundai crossover even offered a turbo diesel option to buyer. Yet, most stuck to the CR-V, and the Tucson disappeared off roads within 5 years of its launch in 2005. Most people won’t even recognize this crossover on Indian roads, for Hyundai sold so little of it.
The Teana is another car that never took off. A petrol-only model that rivaled the Passat-Superb-Accord-Camry, the Teana’s main role was to build the Nissan brand following the automaker’s top down approach, at which it wasn’t very successful anyway. The car was imported to the country as a CBU, and this resulted in steep pricing, a big reason for the Teana’s downfall.
Bangalore based Sipani Automobiles tried a lot of innovative stuff in the Indian car market, almost all of which failed. The Rover Montego was one such attempt, with Sipani selling the Austin Montego in India, in sedan and stationwagon guises. Both body styles flopped.
[Image courtesy Team-BHP]
The Palio hatchback became the Siena sedan,which was later renamed the Petra after a facelift. Despite Sachin Tendulkar promoting it, both the Siena and the Petra sold in very few numbers. The primary reason for this was the distrust among car buyers for the Fiat brand, and this was something that even the very solid build of these cars couldn’t overcome.
Fiat Palio Weekend
Now, who in their right minds would launch a station wagon based on a flop sedan? Well, Fiat tried just this with the Palio Weekend. Needless to say, it never moved past showrooms. And if you do find a Palio Weekend on the road, consider yourself very lucky, for it’s rarer than a Lamborghini.
The SR-V was a sporty hatchback that General Motors sold in India, as a precursor to the premium hatchback segment. The SR-V was essentially a rebadged, hatchback version of the Daewoo Lacetti, which sold in India as the Chevrolet Optra sedan. The SR-V was a fast car but was pricey too. The latter did the car in.
Not many know that the Mercedes Benz G-Wagen was sold in India as the Force Judo. Well, it’s true, down to the turbo diesel engine. But Force Motors doesn’t like selling its off roaders to prospective buyers, who’re usually made to wait for months, if not years, just to get a picture on whether they’d be able to buy one. And just when people began realizing that they could actually buy the very capable off roader, the vehicle was discontinued.
At the upcoming 2016 Indian Auto Expo, Nissan has plans of launching the all-new X-Trail. The version that the new model intends to replace never did well though, and the main reason was a high price tag following CBU import. Nissan will take a similar approach with the new X-Trail as well, and there’s a big chance that the new model will also be a non-starter as far as numbers go.
One of the most luxurious cars in its day in Club trim, the Opel Astra was a solid German sedan sold with petrol and diesel engines. A high price tag meant that few could afford this car. And those who did had to face high maintenance costs. The Astra bombed, and the few remaining examples on Indian roads present rare sights for car nuts.
The Escort was Ford’s first made-in-India car for the Indian market. The car sat in the C-Segment sedan space but never really managed to get going due to the combination of expensive maintenance costs and questionable reliability levels.