From April 1, 2020, the Indian government will be enforcing new Bharat Stage 6 emission standards in India. Additionally, all existing models on sale will also have to be modified to comply with occupant and pedestrian safety norms soon after. All models that have already been put into place for all models launched after October 2019.
This will force some manufacturers in India to discontinue some of their old and ageing cars, SUV, and MPVs from their line-up for good. Some of these vehicles have been able to create emotional attachments to the people who have bought them. But not all these have given good emotions. Here is our list starting with the smallest:
The Tata Nano when it was being introduced was all set to change the entire landscape how Indians commute. The Nano was meant to full-fill the dream of Ratan Tata and be an affordable and safer four-wheeler option for people who travel with their entire families on bikes and scooters. However, it failed to deliver on the price tag of ‘Rs 1 lakh’ as taxes were also involved, and eventually, when newer updated models of the Nano arrived, prices kept climbing north. This was also not helped by the management team who were not able to market the car properly. While the production of the Nano has already been discontinued, the company still holds an emotional attachment to it and is adamant that it isn’t, which is why it is still displayed on their website. We reckon that eventually, that it will be removed once regulations deem it road unworthy for emissions and safety. Had the Nano delivered on its promised and become a household name it was initially intended like the Mini, 2CV or the Fiat 500 did in their time, we might have missed what could have been a future classic.
Tata Bolt & Zest
The Bolt and Zest from Tata Motors are next on death row. Both the Bolt hatchback and the Zest sup compact sedan failed to make a dent into the sales of the offerings from Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Hyundai. Dwindling sales and lack of proper updates forced Tata to introduce all new models like the Tiago and Tigor which have actually been well accepted by buyers. Now both models will be replaced altogether with the introduction of the all-new Tata Altroz, scheduled to be launched soon, which would most likely be followed by a sedan to compete against the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz and Polo. Since the Bolt and Zest didn’t really become quite popular in the market, the emotional attachment with these models would be unlikely.
Toyota Etios, Etios Liva and Etios Cross
Toyota’s Etios family was first introduced in India back in 2010. Nearly a decade since it went on sale, the Etios only received a mild makeover in 2016. With other mild updates along the way. How that Toyota will be launching the Glanza, a hatchback which is rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, this leaves no room for the Etios Liva hatchback. Additionally, with the Yaris now in India, the Etios sedan may also be discontinued along with the Etios Cross due to dwindling sales of the crossover. In addition, due to the age of the vehicles, it may not be economical for Toyota to invest in upgrading them to BS6 and meet the new safety norms from 2020.
When it comes to crash safety, the Maruti Suzuki Omni would be the very first vehicle to be scrapped. The van has been in production since 1984 and Maruti Suzuki confirmed that the Omni will be discontinued as it wont meet the safety and emission norms and cannot be manufactured after October 2020. Maruti Suzuki will be replacing the Omni with the Eeco. While we may not miss the Maruti Suzuki Omni, probably kidnappers in Bollywood films might.
With the new laws that are said to come into effect from 2020, Mahindra may decide to call it quits with the Xylo. With the launch of the Marazzo MPV last year, the 7-seat people carrier has been received well in the market. Although there is no confirmation from Mahindra for the same, it is likely that the Xylo will be axed next year to allow for the sales of the Marazzo to increase marginally instead of investing further into the older product.
Tata Safari and Safari Storme
The Tata Safari has been in production since 1998 and only saw a facelift in 2005 called the Safari Dicor which has been in production since. Tata later introduced the Tata Safari Storme with significant updates in 2012 but was still based on the older model’s underpinnings. Tata has continued to sell the older Dicor model along with the Storme till date. Being an old model, the Safari may be retired before the 2020 norms come into place as the Tata Hexa, Tata Harrier and the upcoming Buzzard 7-seat SUV will leave no room for the Safari. The Safari has been loved by many for its capabilities off-road, especially the Safari Storme. Some owners of the Tata Safari will feel a bit emotional to see the old workhorse retire.
Another model from Tata Motors that has been in production for a very long time is the Tata Sumo. The Sumo for first introduced in 1994, and the name was derived from Sumant Moolgaokar [Su-Mo], a former Managing Director of Tata Motors. At the time the Sumo was position against the Mitsubishi Pajero and the Toyota Prado. While the competition moved on with newer model, the Sumo has been selling around an average of 500 units a month, but sold only 96 units in March 2019, and sold no units in April 2019. So it is possible that Tata has already discontinued the Sumo already. While my personal experience with the Sumo remind me of dark times but, being a Tata, I’m sure a lot of people will miss it.