There are some cars that are mechanically sound, great to drive or have other traits in them that actually make them superior to their competitors, but yet nobody wants them. These are the cars that you can bargain hard for with dealers, as discounts are ripe for the picking. The usual suspects of great cars that are not selling has not changed a lot though.
Here’s the list for 2014-2015, going by the sales in the past six months of cars that have potential to be best-sellers, but instead are just vying for a spot on the top losers spot. We’ve excluded cars we think really don’t start a chance anyway, but have taken only those we think deserve a look.
The refreshed Ford Fiesta was launched in June 2014, after its predecessor, the Fiesta launched in 2011 didn’t do well. The new Fiesta corrected a lot of the wrongs that the earlier car came with, primarily the wrong price tag. Yet, it hasn’t met with much success. Ford relaunched the car with only the diesel engine option (as diesel was the flavour of the season, given soaring petrol prices) and added even better styling to the front and the rear. But how many cars have been sold since September? Just over 2,300. Wait, that’s the new Fiesta and the Ford Classic combined, as Ford has stopped reporting individual numbers for this car (as the numbers are quite poor). Ford priced the new Fiesta at Rs. 7.69 lakh – Rs. 9.29 lakh at launch, but later hiked it by Rs. 90,000, when sales weren’t moving anyway. However, there are discounts of up to Rs. 65,000 to be had on this car. Bargain hard.
It’s a great driver’s car. For more read the review: 2014 Ford Fiesta first drive review
The new, refreshed Fiat Linea drove in at the beginning of 2014. It comes with the tried and tested 1.3 litre 90PS multijet diesel and 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol, with prices ranging from Rs. 7.99 lakh to Rs. 10.09 lakh. The Linea is one of the better built cars in its segment and feels more solid compared to all its competitors. It also has excellent ride and handling, and is loaded with all the essential convenience and safety features. It is also pretty spacious and comfortable for long trips. The petrol T-Jet is an outright fun machine for enthusiasts looking for quick bursts of acceleration. Yet, no one seems to be picking the new one up. Despite the launch of the facelifted Linea, sales between September and February have only been a little over 1,300 cars.
Fiat Punto Evo
The Fiat Punto Evo has what it takes to be one of the best-selling premium hatchbacks around. The refreshed Punto has taken the exterior styling up a couple of notches and the Avventura builds further from that. Like the Linea, the Punto Evo too comes with all the essential features and safety kit. It is offered with a choice of 1.2 litre petrol, 1.4 litre petrol, and 1.3 litre diesel engines (in 75PS and 93PS power options). It has the best ground clearance among all premium hatchbacks and good ride and handling, as well as space and features. It’s a car that enthusiasts love, but yet between September and February, combined sales of the Punto Evo and Avventura stood at just over 4,000 vehicles.
The Chevrolet Cruze was once the hot favourite in the D-segment among enthusiasts looking for a car that could out-accelerate some expensive, luxury sedans, which earned it the nickname of a “diesel rocket”. However, the charm has now worn off, despite the launch of the facelifted Chevrolet Cruze in late 2013, and added power to the engine (166 PS of power and 380 Nm of torque). People looking for a fast sedan have started looking either a segment lower or a segment higher, which has taken a toll on the Cruze’s sales figures. Discounts of up to Rs. 50,000 are easily available. The car is priced between Rs. 14.37 lakh and Rs. 16.96 lakh.
The Tata Aria may have some hope in a year, as the Hexa Concept is based on the Aria, and could be what a thorough makeover of the Aria would look like. The Tata Aria otherwise has become one of the biggest examples of a great product failing miserably in the market. First, it was overpriced. The concept was ahead of its time, and it’s not until Mahindra brought in the XUV500 at very competitive prices, did people really notice the virtues of a crossover. The Aria has more space and comfort than the Toyota Innova, it is more powerful and comes with the option of a 4×4 variant too, with plenty of features. However, the looks just didn’t catch on. And despite Tata dropping prices to below Rs. 10 lakh for the entry variants, and dealers offering discounts up to Rs. 1.5 lakh, it still has not managed to get moving. Between September and February only about 430 odd vehicles were sold. Bargain hard and you can easily extend the discounts on offer.
Also read: The five slowest-selling cars in India