Nonetheless, here is a list of some of the biggest car flops in the Indian market in the last decade that will take you to a trip down the memory lane –
Mahindra launched the seven-seater Quanto mini-SUV in the Indian market in 2012 at a starting price of just Rs 5.82 lakh (ex-showroom). It was based on the same ladder-frame platform as its elder sibling Xylo. The Quanto was essentially a sub-4m SUV that was aimed at urban buyers who wanted the taste of a high-riding vehicle on a tight budget.
The SUV was available with a 1.5-litre diesel engine putting out 100 PS power and 240 Nm torque, however, the SUV failed to make an impact in the market. Mahindra also introduced a mid-life facelift for the car in 2016 with some noteworthy visual changes, as well as a new name, i.e. NuvoSport. All in all, nothing seemed to work for the compact SUV, and Mahindra ended up discontinuing the Quanto/NuvoSport in 2020 once the BS6 emission norms came into effect.
Introduced in the country in September 2012, The Nissan Evalia was an MPV that was actually designed more like a van, with its smallish sloping bonnet, long wheelbase, rear-sliding doors, and a straight roofline. Priced from Rs 8.49 lakh (ex-showroom), at launch, the Evalia was available with a 1.5-litre diesel engine that put out 84 PS power and 200 Nm torque.
In a segment that consisted of MPVs like Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo, and Maruti Ertiga, the Nissan Evalia failed to make an impact. Speaking on the discontinuation of the MPV, a company spokesperson had claimed that the Evalia’s design and styling were “unconventional”, which is one of the reasons that the people mover failed to take off. With just over 2,400 units sold, the production of the Nissan Evalia was stopped in 2015.
The Chevrolet Enjoy was another three-row people mover that failed to make its name in the Indian market. The Enjoy was introduced as Chevrolet’s first MPV in the Indian market back in 2013, and while it had conventional rear doors, the Enjoy’s overall van-like design was rather unattractive.
The Enjoy was launched in India with both petrol and diesel powertrains, but low sales volumes resulted in the discontinuation from the market in 2016. Moreover, General Motors decided to withdraw the Chevrolet brand from the Indian market in 2017.
After depleting sales numbers in recent years, Nissan finally decided to pull the plug on its affordable ‘Datsun’ sub-brand earlier this month. The production of the entry-level GO hatchback and its 7-seat version GO+ was also effectively seized for good. The Datsun GO was introduced in the country in 2014, while the GO+ went on sale in the following year.
Powering both the cars was a 1.2-litre three-cylinder NA petrol engine that put out 67 PS power and 104 Nm torque, mated to a 5-speed MT. A CVT auto gearbox was also introduced at a later stage, with a maximum power output of 77 PS. In a segment that has been largely dominated by Maruti Suzuki over the years, the affordable Datsun cars did not stand a chance.
Mahindra Verito Vibe
The Verito Vibe was a sub-4m hatch based on the Verito sedan, launched in the country in 2013. Powering the hatchback was a sole 1.5-litre diesel engine that put out 65 PS power and 160 Nm torque, same as the sedan version. The equipment on offer at launch included ABS, driver airbag, 2 DIN music system with CD, MP3 player, USB and aux in, alloy wheels as well as a rear defogger.
The Verito Vibe was a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Sail U-VA and Toyota Etios Liva, but Mahindra never really managed to sell the sub-4m hatchback in great numbers. Along with the Verito, Xylo, and NuvoSport, the Verito Vibe was also phased out since its powertrain was not upgraded to comply with the stringent BS6 emission standards.
Chevrolet Sail UV-A
The Chevrolet Sail UV-A was the first model in India from the GM-SAIC joint venture. Launched back in November 2012, the hatchback was available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine, as well as a 1.3-litre diesel motor. The Sail UV-A rivalled the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift and Ford Figo in the market.
The Sail UV-A failed to live up to the American carmaker’s expectations. Chevrolet also introduced a sedan version of the Sail in a bid to compete against the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, which was gaining popularity at that time. However, neither the hatchback, nor the sedan version of the Sail managed to put a dent in their rivals’ sales.
Tata Bolt & Zest
Tata launched the Bolt hatchback and its sedan version Zest in the Indian market to improve its brand value in the country. Both the sub-4m cars were fairly well packed, and available with a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine putting out 90 PS and 140 Nm, along with a 1.3-litre oil burner that produced 75 PS and 190 Nm. The diesel engine on the Zest was also available in a higher state of tune, i.e. 90 PS/200 Nm.
The sales numbers never really picked up, and Tata Motors ended up introducing the Tiago and Tigor, its new sub-4m cars in the country, which made the Bolt and Zest feel outdated. The two cars were discontinued from the market in 2019, and now when we look back, it seems like the right thing to have done since the successors Tiago and Tigor continue to perform exceptionally well in their respective segments.
Based on the Renault Duster, the Nissan Terrano was launched in the country in 2013 with tons of styling changes over its cousin. However, no changes were made to the 1.5-litre diesel and 1.6-litre petrol engines. Unfortunately for Nissan, the Terrano could not keep up with the Duster, and the introduction of Hyundai Creta in 2015 further hurt its sales. A facelift for the SUV was introduced in 2017, but to no avail.
Nissan also went on to introduce the much-more modern Kicks SUV in the country in 2019, which further overshadowed the Terrano in its portfolio. The compact SUV was not updated to comply with the BS6 emission norms, and was officially discontinued in 2020.