India’s first MPV, Kajah Kazwa on video: Launched decades before MPVs like Innova, Ertiga

India has one of the largest populated countries in the world. Many people of India end up buying a MPV because it can seat a lot of people, it is quite practical and is very comfortable. This is the reason the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Toyota Innova Crysta are such a big hit in the Indian market. However, if you would notice that none of the homegrown manufacturers has a proper MPV that is a success. Mahindra has the Marazzo but it does not really sell in big numbers. Well, here is another Indian manufacturer that wanted to sell a MPV or Multi-Purpose Vehicle in the Indian market. It was called Kazwa and the manufacturer’s name was Kajah. The Kajah Kazwa was developed and made in India.

Here, we have a video of the Kazwa uploaded on YouTube by Talking Cars. In the video, we can see the exterior as well as the interior of the MPV. The Kazwa is finished in a purple paint shade and the interior is pretty basic that is finished in black.

The MPV was first visualized by Rajah Group which is a tobacco-based company located in Kerala. The company originally manufactured tobacco-based products and Ayurvedic health care products. They wanted to enter the Indian automobile business.

India’s first MPV, Kajah Kazwa on video: Launched decades before MPVs like Innova, Ertiga

It was 1998 when Kajah was trying to enter the Indian market with Kazwa. The manufacturer made 4 to 5 prototypes of the vehicle for the government but the government did not approve the vehicle.

The Kazwa was able to clear the homologation and other regulations. It was the government that did not allow the Kajah to enter the Indian automobile business. This means that the Kazwa MPV cleared all met the rules and norms of the automotive industry at that time. The reason behind not allowing the Kajah to manufacture automobiles in India was that government did not give the manufacturer a small scale business status. Because of which it would have been a loss-making business for the family. So, the family scrapped the project.

In the meantime, Toyota launched the Qualis in 2000. Qualis was an instant hit in the Indian market, it helped establish Toyota as an automobile manufacturer in India. But you can still find some examples of the Kajah Kazwa that are still in working condition.

Kajah had to source out many of its parts from other different vehicles. They did this because it was easier and more affordable for them to source parts rather than manufacture them themselves.

The exterior body of the Kazwa was made of fibreglass and sheet metal. In fact, Kajah is still in the business of manufacturing fibreglass panels. They supply their fibreglass panels to big manufacturers like Tata Marco Polo and Ashok Leyland.

The engine for the Kazwa was sourced from Hindustan Motors. It was a 2.0-litre diesel engine that was turbocharged. Moreover, the braking components were also taken from Hindustan Motors. These parts were already doing duty on Hindustan Contessa, a well-known sedan from the pre-2000 era.

Paarth Khatri

Paarth's passion for cars started by collecting newspaper clippings when he was just a toddler. He is obsessed with cars and technology and can talk about them all day. He has an undying love for cars with a manual transmission and is always ready to drive anything with 2 or 4 wheels. Being an audiophile his dream car is Lexus LFA, considering it is the best sounding car ever made. He would happily burn the last gallon of petrol for a lap in the Ariel Atom 500. (Full bio)