Many vehicles are discontinued from the market each year due to low sales, ageing products, or the manufacturer no longer being able to profit from the vehicle. Many of India’s iconic cars have been phased out over the years, but there were a few that deserved to be around for a little longer. To commemorate these seven cars, we’ve compiled a list of modern iterations we’d have liked to see instead of the discontinued originals.
Let’s begin with the most recognisable vehicle of all time. The Hindustan Ambassador. From 1958 to 2014, the Ambassador was India’s longest-running model, outselling all others. Although many people don’t realise that it’s a rear-wheel-drive sedan, the Ambassador has been the pride of India’s elites for decades and is still a popular choice today. The Hindustan Ambassador would have looked great in a modern setting. Try to picture an Amby with LED headlights, and perhaps an infotainment touchscreen. In fact, DC Design is currently working on an electric version of the Ambassador, which should go on sale next year. We’re eagerly awaiting to see how that turns out.
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy
When the Nano went on sale, the base price was recorded at Rs. 2.05 lakh. The engine in the Nano was a 624 cc two-cylinder model. Nano’s first impression was that she was “fierce,” despite her small stature. In order to allow families to upgrade from 2-wheelers to more affordable four-wheelers, the vehicle was introduced to replace them. If we compare it to cars, Nano was unquestionably the safest two-wheeler on the market.
Tata saw no point in delaying the inevitable because the car lacked basic safety features and had received disappointing sales results. The car was discontinued in 2019. Despite this, Nano was a game-changer for the micro-hatchback market. It was the star of the show at the 2008 auto expo, beating out rivals like the Renault Clio and Fiat 500X.
Maruti Suzuki Omni
Except for a few cosmetic tweaks and a name change, the Omni didn’t change much over the course of its existence (it was called the Van before). The vehicle received its first facelift in 1998, which included an upgraded engine. Fuel injection replaced the carburettor. Aside from this, there haven’t been many changes to Omni’s engine.
Omni still had a sizable customer base after all these years. The Omni, on the other hand, failed miserably in safety and crash tests. Standard safety features like airbags or anti-lock brakes (ABS) were missing from the vehicle. Because of the strict BS6 standards, the MUV was discontinued. Maruti has no immediate plans to bring the minivan back.
Toyota Corolla is a line of subcompact and compact cars that are sold all over the world. The Toyota Corolla, which went on sale in 1966, was the world’s best-selling car by 1974 and has remained on that list ever since. The Toyota Corolla surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the world’s best-selling car nameplate in 1997. In 2021, Toyota sold 50 million Corollas across 12 generations, breaking the previous record of 40 million. There have been several major reimaginings of the series over the years.
A luxury sedan, the Toyota Corolla belongs in the same class as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This is now well-known for generating a large number of sales across India. SUVs in the same segment now have the same features and engines as cars but are housed in a larger body. This is because the SUV market in our market is extremely competitive. As a result, the luxury sedan segment as a whole has been declining. In 2019, the overall segment’s sales dropped by 30%.