This is the second part of the Cars Gone Wrong series of articles. You can read the first one on Hatchbacks here.
Last time you checked in, we talked about five hatchback cars that were great products, but somehow did not catch fancy of the Indian buyers. In this article, we will talk about the bigger sedans, handpick the ones which did not do well and talk a bit about them.
Remember India’s first Turbo charged petrol sedan under 10 lakhs? Or that car that had the looks to die for, often termed as poor mans Mercedes? Yeah that is the Linea. It was much of a competition to other segment cars but despite being a solid car, took a dive when it came to the sales counter.
The car was refreshed and promoted with much fanfare and was loaded with features such as rain sensing wipers , auto head lamps and what not. It was offered at a price which was almost in Verna’s territory, was worth way more than a Dzire or Etios but probably a little lesser than a City or Vento. It, kind of, tried creating a new segment but the sales dipped every month.
And its been selling under 100 units a month for quite some time now. It sold a meagre 63 units in November 2012. However, as we see with the new found Fiat, we have some real hopes of revival here. Let us wait and watch.
The car which is possibly the best one out there when it comes to driveability around Rs.10 lakhs; fell miserably in sales just because of it being highly overpriced. Fiesta offered automatic gearbox, cool gadgetry, voice control and the list goes on. But it was priced at a premium over the bestsellers City, Vento and the Verna.
Ford did try to do some price correction and the current tag takes it around the similar segment cars. It was also offered with discounts and freebies but as they say, “Once lost is always lost“. Fiesta has never really picked up anytime during its Indian tenure. It has been selling less than 500 monthly units till date. It scampered through to sales of a dismal 124 units for November 2012.
With Mitsubishi deciding to pull the plug on the Iconic Lancer and for the lack of diesel engine in the Cedia, the sales have struck an all time low (actually it can’t be lower to be called sales). Combined, they both sold ONE unit (yes, Combined!). Lancer is a very capable car and we have personal experiences of it holding up its ground even after 2.5 Lac kms. It is still the same product as it was in late nineties and hence could not compete with its contemporaries.
Cedia, the car which had the right price after the price-cuts, is a hoot to drive around, is the car that wins most of the rallies yet does not sell. Dated interiors, low on gadgetry and yeah, the fuel hungry 2.0 lite petrol engine all contribute probably…OR DO THEY!
Its not about the product, its more about Mitsubishi’s lacklustorous attitude in India. We hope they start taking us seriously and support their potent products to bring in more conviction in potential buyers.
The car when it was first launched in India was at least a generation ahead of its time. It is the same even today. It got a mid-term facelift but you need to look under the magnifying glass to spot the differences. It continues to sell below 100 units for the past many months and for November managed just 72 units.
Civic is still one heck of a looker. Although the new Civic has been launched in international markets, but Honda has decided to keep it away from India, at least for now. Honda might launch the next-gen Civic in India in a couple of years but more importantly with a diesel engine. And if this happens, dare we say it will reach where it was meant to be at – the Number 1 spot .
This tall boy car is way more masculine than its counterparts. Maruti promotes it as “Men are back”, quite aptly. You sit tall in the car and it has a roomier cabin. The car when it was first launched lost when petrol prices soared and when the diesel engine came in, it was thought about as a breath of fresh air to it. However, it lacked in the appeal that City, Verna and the others had. Performance is not class threatening either!
And Maruti has never really been a seller in this C2 segment of sedans. SX4 fell pray and has started with diminishing sales for a few months now. It sold just 692 units in November 2012 when its contemporaries are selling plus of 2500 units a month. Maruti has always failed when it comes to premium cars and this product is no exception.
Individual car sales figures taken from Team-Bhp