Just days ago, General Motors announced that it would no longer sell cars in India. Even though the American giant will be present in India as an export-only brand, GM will shut down its Indian operations on 31st December 2017. GM entered India 18 years back and launched more than a few interesting vehicles. However, more of them were flops rather than big hits. Here are 8 such forgotten cars.
The Astra was introduced in the C-segment in the Indian market in 1996. The sedan introduced Indians to the German build quality and feature-rich cabin at an affordable price. The Astra, however, never caught the car buyers due to the immense competition from the likes of Honda City and Mitsubishi Lancer.
The Astra came with both petrol and diesel engines and was known for its plush and comfortable ride. The best variant of Astra – known as Astra Club – also offered a sunroof at that point of time.
One of the last of GM’s German mid-size sedans in India, the Corsa was discontinued due to the exit of the Opel brand from India in 2006. Corsa was launched in 2000. The car competed against the likes of Ford Ikon. The sedan was powered by the same set of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines that its hatchback sibling offered in India.
Opel Corsa Swing
The Corsa Swing was launched in India when most of the manufacturers were still trying to understand the Indian market. Among the slew of station wagons, Corsa Swing was also launched in 2003. The Swing was based on the Corsa sedan and looked quite good.
The car came with a 1.6-litre petrol engine that produced a maximum power of 92 Bhp. It was one of the fastest station wagons in India and could touch the speed of 170 km/h. The Corsa Swing came with an own set of problems like high maintenance and a petrol-only engine, both of which kept customers away from it.
Opel Corsa Sail
Opel launched the Corsa Sail, the hatchback version of the Corsa in India in 2003. The premium hatchback was launched at an affordable price of Rs. 4.39 lakh and featured some high-tech devices like crash sensors that unlocked the doors after a crash. The car also boasted of power windows and pollen filter. The Sail was powered by only petrol engines. There was a 1.4-litre engine produced 86 Bhp while the Sail Sport came with 1.6-litre 103 Bhp engine.
The rebadged version of the Subaru Forester was introduced in India, in 2003. The SUV came only with a petrol engine but it was unique. Forester was powered by 2-litre boxer layout engine that generated a maximum power of 120 Bhp and 178 Nm of peak torque. It came with a five-speed transmission and full-time AWD.
The Forester was way ahead of its time in India. Chevrolet had also put a massive price tag of Rs. 16 lakh at that time. However, the Forester was a great vehicle to drive around with its low centre of gravity. The crossover was around only for 2 years.
The large, powerful hatchback from Chevrolet did not live a long life but it sure did leave a lasting impact on the car lovers. The SR-V was launched in 2006 and continued to be on sale for 5 years before GM India pulled it out of the market. The SR-V was basically an Optra minus the boot.
The car came with a high asking price of nearly Rs. 7 lakh which did no good for the price conscious Indian market. The SR-V came powered by only one 1.6-litre petrol engine that produced a maximum power of 103 Bhp.
The Vectra was a luxury sedan that was introduced way back in 2002. The sedan came with a powerful 2.2-litre petrol engine that generated 146 Bhp and comes mated to a five-speed gearbox. The Vectra, however, lived a short life mainly due to faulty electronics.
The car came with a host of a complex electronic system like onboard diagnostic software but all of it failed in India due to driving conditions. The car was on the market for about 2 years when GM India decided to kill the Opel brand and focus on Chevrolet brand instead.
Chevrolet Optra Magnum
The Optra Magnum was a mid-size sedan in India that did not gain much popularity. The car was launched in 2007 and stayed in the market till 2012. It was positioned between C and D segments and the car was lost in the line-up that also offered Aveo and Cruze at the same time. It was one of the most powerful cars under Rs. 10 lakh but slow sales forced GM to eventually stop the production of the vehicle.
However, the Optra Magnum Diesel became quite popular among the enthusiasts – a minute buyer segment in India. The car was powered by a 2.0-litre engine that produced a maximum power of 120 Bhp and peak torque of 314 Nm. There was also a 1.6-litre 103 Bhp petrol engine on offer.
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