In the world of sales and marketing, one of the easiest ways to sell any brand or commodity is to make it look attractive so that it appeals to its target customers. However, the same didn’t apply to the Indian auto market until recently. In fact, the Indian auto market was considered to be quite a tough nut to crack till a few years back and because of the same, some of the biggest names in the auto industry have failed to make a mark here. Thankfully though, things have changed and now with the Indian buyers. People around the country have started considering design and aesthetics of a car as a major point in their buying decision apart from VFM, space and aftersales service. However, there have been numerous beautiful cars in past that were deemed as flops in our market. Today, let’s take a look at four beautiful, mass market flop cars of India that we wish sold a lot better than they did.
Fiat Punto Evo
The Fiat Punto Evo may not look as ravishing as its Giorgetto Giugiaro older sibling but that is scarcely the reason why this car hasn’t hit bulls eye. Despite all that gloss and shine, the Punto Evo is a slow selling car. Car buyers are yet to warm up to a resurgent Fiat brand and the Punto Evo almost seems like collateral damage, a car that’s paying for the sins of its maker.
The Punto Evo remains one of more solid cars that money can buy in India’s budget hatchback segments. The 90 HP diesel variant is a strong performer on the open roads with a wonderfully able ride and handling package. The Punto is reasonably well endowed when it comes to features and creature comforts. Even the Abarth variant later did not click with the masses – but that was not a great looker, to tell the truth. The Classic Punto still remains a really beautiful car.
The Ford Fiesta C-Segment sedan’s facelift makes it look like an Aston Martin, but car buyers simply seem to have forgotten this option in the sedan space. Flashy looks are only one part of the Fiesta’s appeal. Scratch below the surface and you’ll come up with two gems called steering and handling. The Fiesta’s suspension is supple enough to dispatch road irregularities with aplomb while the suspension let the car hold it line like a train on rails.
In the hands of the capable, the Fiesta Facelift’s 1.5 liter TDCI turbo diesel motor with just 89 Bhp-205 Nm is enough to keep the Volkswagen Ventos and Skoda Rapids of the world in the rear view mirror, and this is saying something. Yet nobody, not even the enthusiast brigade, seems interested in the Fiesta. This is one car that looks good and should sell good.
The Linea, prior to its facelift, almost seemed like a sculpture fashioned out of a single block of metal. Though the botox job doesn’t do much justice to the original score, the Linea is still a head turner. It’s of another matter that the Fiat sedan brings the rearguard of the C-Segment pack. The T-Jet petrol motor is the most powerful in its class, endowing the Linea with exciting acceleration, and enough pep to give drivers the thrill of driving.
The underpowered diesel pulls the car down, and it’s baffling to note why Fiat is not offering this car with the 1.6 liter Multijet turbo diesel motor. While the Linea will be replaced in a couple of years by yet another hot looker, its maker seems to have run out of ideas to sell this sharp looking sedan that is so involving to drive when the going gets twisty.
The Fluence was among the early launches of Renault in India. The D-segment sedan carries the typical French design in’fluence’ and looked quite different from any other car in the segment at that time. While the initial model did had people split over its looks, the facelifted model (featured here) was certainly a looker and especially so in flesh.
However, it still didn’t find many takers and the car has to be finally discontinued in 2017. The Fluence had a plush ride and a tractable, fuel efficient turbo diesel engine but as is the case with the three cars above, the Fluence failed despite the car being such an elegant looker. Another classic case of a car model that failed in the hard to crack auto market of our country despite being an able sedan.