Over the years, India’s seen many cars & SUVs go out of production. Some of these go out forever while others have made massive comebacks. Let’s check the comeback champs out.
Two generations of the Skoda Octavia were sold in India before production was disrupted. This car literally helped the Skoda brand become popular among buyers. The new Octavia, based on the MQB platform is back, and is now a strong seller in the D-Segment sedan space. The Octavia is sold with turbocharged petrol and diesel engined options. Not only is the car the best performer in its segment, but is also the most spacious.
The Versa bombed, but Maruti didn’t give up. The passenger van got a new lease of life in the form of the Eeco, and a new 1.2 liter engine that gave it big excise duty benefits. Overnight, Maruti has transformed one of its biggest flops, into a big success. To this day, the Eeco continues to sell strongly as a passenger van, and is bought both by family car buyers and cab operators.
The Nuvosport is the comeback form of the Quanto, a slow selling, 7 seat compact SUV. The Nuvosport looks much fresher than the Quanto and is loaded with features. It continues to operate with a twin scroll turbocharger equipped diesel engine, and a ladder frame chassis. While it’s too new to be judged in terms of actual sales numbers, it’s nevertheless one of the most serious comeback cars that Mahindra has produced for the Indian market.
Half a decade ago, the Beetle arrived into India, as a brand builder for Volkswagen. The car did its job and disappeared. It has now made a comeback, but this time around, it’s an all new version that features a powerful 1.4 liter TSI turbo petrol engine. The Beetle continues to retain its cute shape, but with better fuel efficiency and performance. A CBU, it still remains pricey though.
The previous generation Honda Jazz never did well, and it took a massive price drop to get sales going. But at the lowered price, the Jazz was a loss making car, and Honda quickly pulled it off. The car’s been relaunched, as an all-new model, replete with heavy localization and a turbo diesel engine. The new Jazz is a decent sales success, with Honda selling about 4,000 units each month. To sum it up, it’s a successful comeback car.
Fiat 595 Abarth
The 595 Abarth is a pure brand builder for Fiat, and a car that takes on the Beetles and Coopers of this world. The Abarth massaged hatchback is actually a comeback car. Years ago, Fiat sold the 500 diesel hatchback in India, at a princely sum of about 14 lakh rupees. The car never did well. The 595 is its spiritual successor. While it’s a rare sight on Indian roads, Fiat won’t really mind as its role is to burnish the badge.
Renault parted ways with Mahindra a few years ago, and the Logan was the casualty of this divorce. The car made a quick comeback, for Mahindra has purchased the rights to build and sell the Logan in India under a different brand name. The Verito was born, and the car even spawned a weird notchback version called the Vibe. The Verito and the Vibe continue to exist in Mahindra’s car line up for the Indian market.
The Elantra was Hyundai’s first D-Segment sedan for India. The car didn’t do well, and Hyundai pulled it off the market in the early 2000s. It took a full generation before Hyundai brought back the Elantra to India. The car is now a decent seller in the D-Segment sedan space, and is available with petrol and turbo diesel engines. Flashy to look at, the Elantra is the best loaded car in its segment as far as features go.
Not many know that Force Motors sold an off roader in India, called the Gurkha. The automaker pulled the Mercedes G-Wagen based off roader off the market, and recently relaunched the vehicle, albeit with a major facelift. The facelifted Gurkha now takes on the Mahindra Thar, and is one of the most potent off roaders that money can buy in India.