While new automobile manufacturers continue to work on making an impact in the Indian market, some established carmakers already have the recipe of how to succeed
Today, the Indian automotive industry is booming with manufacturers and their respective products. While the Indian market lures many international automakers, a lot of manufacturers end up packing their bags to leave as well, since the Indian passenger vehicle space is a bit tricky and not every brand’s cup of tea.
New cars continue to be launched, but it’s not always true that new products have to replace the older ones. We have compiled a list of five cars that have been in production in India for the longest time in modern era, take a read to find out more:
1. Honda City – From 1998
The City marked Honda Cars India’s entry into the Indian market back in 1998, when the internationally sold third-gen model was launched here. The City quickly became a success in the market, and has helped the Japanese carmaker create its brand value in the market.
The City has been on sale in the country for 22 years now, making it the oldest in-production car in the country. Honda is all set to launch the next-gen version of the sedan in the country this year, and the car’s ever-growing popularity confirms that the City will march on for the years to come.
The 2020 City will be offered with features like an electric sunroof, Lane Watch cameras, a 7-inch colour TFT display for the MID, a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, Honda Connect with Alexa Remote compatibility and more. The sedan will draw power from 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines, with a max power output of 121 PS and 100 PS respectively.
2. Maruti Suzuki Wagon R – From 1999
The Wagon R was introduced by Maruti Suzuki in the Indian market in December 1999, and the tall-boy hatchback has undergone two generational updates in its entire life span; with the latest one being launched in the country January 2019.
The Wagon R has always received a positive response from Indian buyers for its practicality, spacious interiors and its tall-boy stance. Maruti Suzuki currently offers the car with the 1.0-litre K10B petrol engine rated at 68 PS/90 Nm, and the 1.2-litre K12M motor that belts out 83 PS of max power, along with 113 Nm of torque.
The Japanese carmaker retails the hatchback in the country at a starting price of Rs 4.45 lakh, which goes up to Rs 5.94 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom). The car competes against the likes of Hyundai Santro, Tata Tiago among other hatchbacks in the Indian market.
3. Mahindra Bolero – From 2000
Mahindra first launched the Bolero in India on August 4, 2000, at a starting price of Rs 4,98,503 (ex-showroom, Mumbai), and the SUV was the first car in Mahindra’s lineup to feature an independent front suspension. The Bolero has received some cosmetic facelifts over the two decades but the ladder on frame boxy SUV has never received a generational update.
Mahindra recently revealed another updated version of the Bolero in the Indian market plonked with a BS6-compliant 1.5-litre 3-cylinder mHawk75 diesel engine that puts out 75 PS of maximum power and 195 Nm of peak torque. The updated SUV has been priced between Rs 7.98 lakh and Rs 8.99 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom Delhi).
4. Maruti Suzuki Alto – From 2000
The first generation Alto made its Indian debut back in 2000, and the Indian-spec model was based on the Japanese Suzuki Alto. However, the second-gen Alto that has been on sale in the country since 2012, is a standalone model developed exclusively for the Indian market.
The Alto has been the best-selling Indian car for several years more often than not, and continues to be Maruti Suzuki’s entry-level car in the market. As of now, the carmaker retails the Alto in India at a base price of Rs 2.94 lakh which goes up to Rs 4.36 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom).
Maruti Suzuki offers the Alto in India with a sole 796 cc three-cylinder engine that generates 48 PS power along with 69 Nm torque. The transmission duties are handled by a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard.
5. Mahindra Scorpio – From 2002
The Scorpio is Mahindra’s second best-selling product in the Indian market after the Bolero, and SUV has been on sale in the country for 18 years now, for the same reason. The homegrown manufacturer is also working on launching a new-gen model for the car which is set to be launched by next year. The next-gen Mahindra Scorpio will feel more premium and urbanized as compared to the current model on sale, and will also be equipped with a range of new features.
For now, the Mahindra Scorpio is set to be upgraded to comply with the latest emission norms, which will result in the base S3 variant with the 75 PS 2.5-litre diesel engine being axed. However, the SUV will retain the 2.2-litre diesel engine, which will be offered in two different states of tune – 120 PS/280 Nm and 140 PS/320 Nm.