2015 will see five popular cars get replaced with their next generation models in India. While car makers in India has used the re-positioning strategy to stunning effect, pushing down older generation models to make them more affordable even as their replacements take their places, the five cars in this list are not likely to be re-positioned. Instead, they will be given a quiet retirement, or in harsher terms the proverbial axe as they call it. CarToq brings you a few interesting bits of the five cars that will march into retirement next year.
The Ford Figo is the most affordable fun-to-drive family hatchback in the Indian car market. An all-rounder in diesel guise, the Figo combines decent pep, great handling, a low slung stance, spacious interiors and a feature filled cabin. The car, until the arrival of the EcoSport, was also the most successful model for Ford in India. Next year, the American automaker will bid adieu to the Figo hatchback, replacing it with a new model that comes with a completely revised top hat. For those who love the purity of a hydraulic steering and the chuckable nature of a low slung hatchback, the current Figo may well be the last of its likes.
The Ford Classic entered India as the replacement to the Ikon sedan. Known as the Fiesta for most part of its life, the Classic got rebadged and repositioned in 2011, even as the all-new Fiesta arrived into India. The Classic, originally the European Fiesta, spawned the memorable S variant that continues to remain a benchmark in terms of how sporty an affordable C-Segment sedan can actually get. After the repositioning, Ford has been selling the Classic with 1.6 liter petrol and 1.4 liter turbo diesel engines. In petrol guise, the car continues to deliver high spunk values and in the hands of an enthusiast, can out do almost all cars in the C-Segment class. The Classic will retire next year, perhaps as a true classic. The 2015 Figo based compact sedan will be its replacement.
The Indica was Tata Motors’ most ambitious offering in the 1990s, a project that put the automaker on the map as far as the passenger car market in India was concerned. The Indica survived many new models such as the Vista, and in 2015, it will continue to be produced along the Bolt. However, 2015 is likely to mark the end of the Indica era at Tata Motors, even though the X1 platform on which the car is based, will continue to operate in cars such as the Vista, Bolt and Zest. The Indica will be replaced by the Tata Kite hatchback. Currently a cabbie favourite, the Indica will go down in the history of Tata Motors as the car that started it all.
Tata Indigo eCS
Apart from India’s ex-finance minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, the Indigo eCS is the car that will be credited for the spawning of what is today one of the hottest segments in the Indian car market, the compact sedan space. The first sub-4 meter sedan in the country, the Indigo eCS was born to take advantage of new excise duty regulations. Based on the X1 platform, the Indigo eCS is now a cabbie favourite, just like its hatchback sibling, the Indica. Next year, Tata Motors will retire the Indigo eCS, replacing it with the Kite based compact sedan. The car will go into the history books as one of the notable innovators in India during the noughties.
The Endeavour has symbolized the big butch American SUV in the Indian car market for years. The time has come for Ford to finally retire the luxury SUV gracefully, and replace it with an all-new model. While the Endeavour nameplate will live on, the new version will be a completely different animal, right from the design to the suspension and chassis make up. The outgoing Endeavour is one of the last ladder frame equipped SUVs in India to use leaf spring suspension at the rear. In the luxury SUV segment, the retirement of the Endeavour will mark the end of the leaf spring era as every new SUV in this category now uses more pliant coil springs.