Three most disappointing car launches in past 12 months

This is a list that no one wants their cars to be seen on. However, it must be published – after all the respective carmakers have gone through plenty of research and development to put these cars on the road. And these are all “new” launches, cars that were introduced within the last 12 months. Yet, no one seems to want them.

Here are three of the cars that bombed. After all the effort that went into making them, these cars are not moving out of showrooms. Also read: Instant hit cars from 2013 to 2015 in India

New Renault Fluence

Three most disappointing car launches in past 12 months

The new Renault Fluence takes the top spot as one of the most disappointing launches of 2014-2015. The Fluence is a perfectly good car and one of the most spacious and well-appointed ones in the D-segment. The refreshed Fluence, unfortunately, came into a segment that has been steadily declining, losing out to lower-priced but equally feature-rich cars from the C-segment. The Fluence is priced between Rs. 13.98 lakh and Rs. 15.49 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai.

In over 12 months since its launch, the car has managed to sell only a 214 units – that is seriously worrisome for a new launch.

New Fiat Linea

Three most disappointing car launches in past 12 months

It’s an irony really. The Fiat Linea is touted as one of the best driver’s cars in the mid-size segment, with enthusiasts swearing by the handling and performance of the T-Jet especially. The car is also very competitively priced between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 9.75 lakh, offering brilliant value-for-money. Why then are there not many takers for it? It’s probably got to do with the lack of trust in the Fiat brand – after years of flip-flops and failed partnerships. The cars are good, but buyers are still wary of after-sales support despite a growing Fiat dealer network.

In the past 12 months Fiat only managed to sell about 2,300 odd Lineas, but it really does not make it one of the worst sellers in the mid-size segment among new launches – that honour goes to the Ford Fiesta.

New Ford Fiesta

Three most disappointing car launches in past 12 months

Ford is just too embarrassed to report individual sales figures for the new Ford Fiesta and has hence lumped it with the ageing Ford Classic – which continues to outsell the Fiesta nearly 3:1, going by showroom information. By that logic, actual sales of the Ford Fiesta would be only about 1,300-1,400 cars in the past 12 months. The Fiesta is a strong example of how unforgiving a first impression can be. When Ford first launched the car in 2011, it was thought to be overpriced, despite its plethora of features. That, and the weird styling of the boot, did not cut it with buyers.

The new Fiesta is still one of the best driver’s cars in the segment though. Ford even thought it would capitalize on the demand for diesel cars by launching the new Fiesta only in diesel. But in the past six months with diesel prices being deregulated and a ban on diesel cars over 10 years old looming large, there has been a shift in demand back to petrol cars – where Ford’s again misread the market.