India is one of the largest automobile industries in the world, however, the market is still very tricky, which is one of the reasons many international manufacturers fail to survive here
Experimenting by entering an unexplored segment in the Indian market does not always go right, and it has spared no manufacturer currently operating in the country. Even while most of the carmakers now have a full understanding of what the Indian buyer wants, new products always have a probability of being a hit or a miss.
However, there are also some instances of manufacturers entering a well established space, and yet still failing to make a statement because of an incompetent product. We have compiled a list of five such cars that failed miserably in the Indian market in the last 5 years, take look –
1. Renault Captur
The Renault Captur was launched in the Indian market in 2017, at a time when the compact SUV segment was scarce, and was solely dominated by the Hyundai Creta. At a time when the shift towards SUVs was on rise, buyers wanted a bold and muscular looking SUV that did not burn a hole in their pocket.
The Captur had everything to take on the Hyundai Creta, but it certainly lacked the muscular SUV looks that the latter offered. The edgy crossover design certainly did not please the Indian market, and Renault ended up discontinuing the Captur in 2020 due to embarrassing sales numbers.
2. Tata Tiago/Tigor JTP
Tata Motors entered into a 50:50 JV with Jayem Automotives Pvt Ltd in March 2017 to develop special performance vehicles based on the existing Tata cars, and later, launched the hot hatch Tiago JTP and its sedan sibling, the Tigor JTP.
As compared to the regular Tiago and Tigor’s 1.2-litre NA petrol engine (86 PS/113 Nm), the Tigor JTP and Tiago JTP were plonked with BS4 Nexon’s 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that was tuned to put out 114 PS of maximum power, along with 150 Nm of peak torque. With a premium of just around Rs 1 lakh over their regular counterparts, the Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP were expected to rock the market.
However, both of the cars failed to attract buyers, who were attracted to bigger yet similarly priced premium hatchbacks. Earlier this year, Tata Motors ended the JV with Jayem Automotives by buying latter’s stake in JT Special Vehicles (JTSV), and discontinuing the two performance-oriented cars.
3. Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS could not be given a miss when we’re talking about affordable performance-oriented cars. Given the Baleno’s popularity, Maruti Suzuki thought that it was the perfect time to launch the Polo GT and Tata Tiago JTP rivaling Baleno RS – a performance-oriented version of the premium hatch.
Over the regular Baleno, the RS version featured aesthetic changes to make it look more sportier including a redesigned front and rear bumpers, smoked headlamps and blacked alloy wheels. It got a 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine producing 102 PS power and 150 Nm torque, mated to a 5-speed MT. However, owing to limited success, the Baleno RS was let go in January this year.
4. Volkswagen Ameo
Volkswagen introduced the Ameo to bridge the gap between the Polo and the Vento in its portfolio, and the car served as the German automaker’s most affordable sedan in the country.
However, the Ameo was never able to keep it up with its competitors like the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze, Tata Tigor and Hyundai Aura/Xcent, and the low sales volumes resulted in Volkswagen taking the sedan off the shelves.
5. Honda BR-V
Honda decided of introducing a unique, affordable 7-seat car with a different approach altogether, and ended up launching the BR-V in India in 2016. The BR-V was a 7-seater, but featured crossover styling – something that, at that time, no other manufacturer was offering at the price point of under Rs 15 lakh.
The crossover MPV came equipped with the same 1.5-litre diesel and petrol powertrains as the Honda City, however, the car did not perform well in the Indian market. Hence, Honda ended up discontinuing the BR-V from the country once the BS6 emission norms came into effect.