It has been a mixed year for the car makers in India. A lot of new and refreshed models were launched and the companies also spent a lot of time putting its product strategy in place. Electrification and Platform sharing seems to be the way forward to reduce costs and major companies are joining forces for a sustainable future. However, many cars and SUVs also saw end of its production and retired from their respective company’s portfolio. Here’s the list:
Second Generation Maruti Suzuki 2017:
As the year ends, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki also ended the production of its second generation Maruti Suzuki Swift. The New Year 2018 will make for the third generation Maruti Suzuki that has already begun production at the company’s plant in Gujarat. The second Generation Swift has been among the top-selling cars in India ever since its inception in 2011. As the excitement builds along the new generation Maruti Suzuki Swift, the outgoing model of Swift will be missed. It is said that 14 Maruti Suzuki Swift’s were sold every hour in India. Without a doubt Maruti Suzuki Swift has been the most popular name plate for the company in India.
Hyundai Santa Fe:
Hyundai’s most premium SUV offering, Santa-Fe was discontinued from Hyundai Motor India’s product portfolio earlier in 2017. Despite being a good product, sales of the SUV continued to drop with only 45 units sold during the first quarter of this ongoing financial year. The third generation Hyundai Santa-Fe debuted in India at the 2014 Auto Expo and rivaled the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. Hyundai currently has no plans to bring in a new variant of Santa-Fe. Hyundai Tucson currently is the most premium flagship SUV in the company’s India portfolio.
Maruti Suzuki Ritz:
First launched in 2009, Maruti Suzuki Ritz was among the popular selling hatchbacks in India but strong competition from rivals forced the company to retire this product from the market in early 2017 and accommodate the production of new cars like Maruti Suzuki Ignis. The company has sold over 4 lakh Ritz in India and now the car is not even available in the fleet market. Maruti Suzuki has ensured the availability of its spare parts and service for the next ten years.
Decreasing demand of Honda’s MPV Mobilio forced the company to discontinue the product from its line-up. Considered as an affordable alternative to Toyota Innova, the Mobilio was a good idea to begin with but may be India wasn’t ready for a 7-seater MPV yet. Also Honda BR-V is what Honda Mobilio should have been at the first place. Honda Mobilio was built on the extended Honda Brio plat that also underpins Honda Amaze. The MPV was available in both petrol and diesel engine options.
Renault Scala and Renault Pulse:
First launched in July 2017, Renault India confirmed that its Renault Pulse hatch and Renault Scala sedan will be manufactured on made to order basis and in October 2017 the company discontinued these two cars from its India portfolio. Both the products are based on Nissan’s V-Platform that also underpins Nissan Micra and Nissan Sunny. The two cars saw almost negligible in March 2017 and it wasn’t viable for the company to keep them alive in the current form. Renault has tasted good success with the Kwid and now is betting big on its Captur crossover.
Chevrolet India cars:
Chevrolet Beat, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Tavera, Chevrolet Enjoy, Chevrolet Trailblazer and the Chevy Spark have met its fate in India as the General Motors decided to stop selling cars in India. The sale of GM products in India stopped in 2017 and the company will now only export products from India. Stefan Jacoby, GM executive vice president and president of GM International, said, “We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities. It would also not help us achieve a leadership position or compelling, long-term profitability in the domestic market. Difficult as it has been to reach this decision, it is the right outcome to support our global strategy and deliver appropriate returns for our shareholders.” General Motors plant in Halol has been taken over by MG Motors and is all set to manufacture its first products in 2018.
Other than this we will also miss the 1.6L diesel engine on the previous Maruti Suzuki S-Cross which did not make it the 2017 Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. We expect the 1.6L DDiS diesel engine block to make it to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. Most of the cars mentioned above will not see a new generation or a facelift in 2018 barring the Maruti Suzuki Swift. One of the cars that will truly be missed from the GM India portfolio is the Chevrolet Cruze, for many the sedan was considered to be aspirational and it did manage to pick up sales in the crowded sedan segment.