Snapshot – There are a bunch of very capable cars in the Indian car market, fantastic in their own right, but ones that continue to languish at the bottom of the sales pile due to a multitude of reasons. These cars are such poor sellers that their makers may not think twice before discontinuing them. Thus, such cars are slightly risky buys in the Indian market. Uncertainty means a lot of things.
One is poor resale value, and the other is lack of access to spares a few years down the line. And then there’s the stigma of owning a flop car. All three of these angles are deal downers for many car buyers. Today, we list out five such cars, which could be discontinued soon on account of poor sales, and on why you should evaluate the risks before buying one.
Sales or no sales, the Ford Fiesta is a boat load of fun, if you can risk your 10 lakh rupees that is. Perhaps, this is a reason why there are so few takers for this car, whose only mistake was a high price tag when it was initially launched, way back in 2011. Few takers means poor resale value.
Less than 3000 units of the Fiesta have been sold in India since 2015, which means that spares could become bothersome once the car gets discontinued, and older. These fears play on the buyers’ mind, compounding matters for Ford India and the Fiesta.
The car is sold with a 1.5 liter TDCI turbo diesel engine (89 Bhp-205 Nm) that’s frugal and responsive. The car feels great to drive, and is well priced too, what with prices starting from 8.5 lakh rupees. An enthusiast’s delight but a very poor seller. That’s been the story of the Fiesta in India.
The Chevrolet Spark hatchback is compact and efficient, and rides like a bigger car. A few months ago though, fears about the car’s imminent discontinuation were stoked by The Economic Times. So, why would any car buyer, especially from the conservative, budget hatchback buying populace opt for the Spark?
Those who’ve driven the Spark do understand that it’s a much better car to drive than say the Hyundai Eon or the Maruti Alto. But for Chevrolet cars’ poor resale value, the costs of maintaining a Spark is quite affordable as General Motors India offers hassle free, well priced maintenance packages.
Despite thes strengths, the car market in India has voted down the Chevrolet Spark, and the car is nowhere near the Alto or the Eon when it comes to sales numbers. Even the Tata Nano and the Datsun Go do much better than this Chevrolet.
Months ago, Renault came up with a compelling offer for the Pulse. The hatchback’s diesel variants were offered for the price of the petrol variants. The scheme never caught on though. While seemingly attractive, the timing was poor. Here’s why.
India’s hatchback territory is making a shift back towards petrol engined cars. Consequently, the attractively priced Pulse Diesel didn’t seem compelling enough for most hatchback buyers. Then there’s the issue of badge engineering. The Pulse is a Nissan Micra with different clothes. The Indian car buyer simply doesn’t like badge engineered cars.
The car has a few nice things going for it though. One is the great ride quality. The other is the frugal and responsive 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine (65 Bhp-160 Nm), which is a dream in city driving conditions. The car actually looks better than the Micra, as most buyers would attest, but that clearly doesn’t seem to be enough.
The Scala sedan is another badge engineered Renault car that’s stuck in the doldrums. The car is a rebadged version of the Nissan Sunny, and offers all the good attributes of the Nissan car, in addition to ride quality that makes it a pleasure to be driven in, on bad roads.
Even a “buy a Renault Scala Diesel at the price of a petrol” didn’t do much to boost the sales of the Scala. That Renault can’t match a Maruti Suzuki or Honda in terms of after sales isn’t helping things too. These factors have come together to make the Scala a poor seller.
Optimistic pricing has killed many a car. In case of the Aria, pricing dealt the second blow. The first of course was the fact that nobody asked for a massive mix of a crossover and an MPV. Tata Motors has spawned many new segments in the Indian car market, and successfully at that.
In case of the Aria though, the automaker failed spectacularly. The crossover now holds the status of being a Tata Motors flagship offering gone bad. The Aria is likely to be replaced by the Hexa, which wears a more SUV-like look and features better interiors.
Why would anyone buy the Aria now, considering the uncertainty surrounding the crossover’s future? Also, knowing that the Hexa is likely to be a superior vehicle, it’s now a matter of counting the months before the Aria becomes a cab or exits production altogether.