Supercars and hypercars today have a waiting period of roughly a year or two. If the car is extremely rare, maybe a little more than that. Back in the day though if you ordered a Padmini, the waiting period for that was an eye-watering 10 years. In today’s time, you would have had multiple facelifts before you even got your car.
Mitsubishi Evo X
Mitsubishi is a company that has good products, but unfortunately the marketing side as well as the after sales side aren’t so strong. Still, Mitsubishi gave India the taste of the Evo. The final car in the series, the Evo X, was launched in India at a price of Rs 50 lakhs. The shocking bit was that Mitsubishi only offered a tiny 6 month warranty on that which is shocking. Luckily, there were still some passionate people who bought the car.
In the 60s & 70s, the government controlled most of the decisions, even in the auto sector. Companies like Hindustan Motors & Premier Auto that sold vehicles in the country did not have the authority to decide how many cars they could build. They could not decide the price of the vehicles either. Everything was controlled by the government.
The Nano was a huge project for Tata Motors. It was set-up with a lot of hopes and expectations and Tata expected the vehicle to be very successful. In order to break-even in the desired time, Tata had to sell 20,000 Nanos/month. Sadly, they never even came close to that figure. The total sales of Tata’s passenger cars isn’t 20,000 either.
Maruti is India’s largest vehicle manufacturer. In terms of numbers, Maruti roughly sells 1.2-1.3 lakh cars a month. According to this figure, roughly 3 Maruti cars are sold every minute.
Tata Indica aka City Rover
The Tata Indica was one of the first Indian cars to go on sale abroad. Tata tied up with Rover to sell the Indica there. The vehicle was rebadged as the City Rover. Tata had to rework on the 1405 cc engine to suit European laws that favored engines smaller than 1400 cc.
Mercedes had a tie-up with Tata Motors when they decided to enter the Indian market. It was Tata Motors that initially brought in the W124 into the country at a sticker price of Rs 23 lakhs. The vehicle had globally been replaced by the newer W210. Their aim was to sell 20,000 cars in their first year through their factory in Pune. However they only managed to sell a meager 1885 units.
Before Maruti came up with the concept of car carriers, car companies used to get drivers to drive the new cars from the factory to the respective showrooms. It was only after Maruti came did they begin using trucks to transport the cars from the factories.
Hyundai’s Santro christening
The Santro was Hyundai’s first car in India and one that was much loved. The Santro name has some history about it as well. To come up with the name, many ad agencies and the top management of Hyundai scratched their heads for a long time. Someone suggested it should be named in a fashionable tone, like the city of Saint Tropez in the French Riviera. This led to the Santro being called so.
The Sierra was one of the first passenger vehicles that was accepted in diesel guise. The company sold 667 units in the first year. When it was launched at Rs 5.0 lakhs, it was the most expensive offering in 1991. The entire rear of the car had a glass roof which meant there was no ventilation at the back. Tata tried to tint the glass as much as the regulations allowed to overcome this.