To celebrate this Independence Day we have listed 10 Indian cars, which we believe are/were some of the most iconic four-wheelers in India. From the collaboration of Maruti and Suzuki to Tata's induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame, this list includes 10 cars which were vital to India's existence as we know. Over the years following cars have been loved and revered by the masses.
1. Hindustan Ambassador
We start our list with one of the most iconic car in India. Our beloved ‘Amby’ was the car of choice for Indian Politician and Government officers. Over the years, it was fondly called “The king of Indian roads”. The car was a brilliant example of how India embraced its diversity. On the downside, Hindustan Motors announced that it will stop manufacturing Ambassador in May 2014.
2. Maruti Suzuki 800
Following up Hindustan Ambassador is the car that is responsible for ‘Amby’s’ demise, the Maruti 800. This was a car that appealed to the Indian masses with its affordable tag. 800 was the first people’s car and the first small car of India. It made, realizing the dream of owning a car, possible for many Indian middle class families. Maruti 800 ranked #1 in India as a bestseller for the time it was in production.
3. Hyundai Santro
Hyundai is India’s second largest auto exporter and so it secures its place in this list rather well. Hyundai entered into the Indian market with Santro as ‘Hyundai India’. Thanks to the rise of low price four wheeler success, Hyundai Santro soon became the second best selling car in India.
4. Tata Indica
Tata is world’s 17th largest motor vehicle manufacturing company, fourth-largest truck manufacturer, and second-largest bus manufacturer by volume. With credentials like that Tata managed to make the Indica, one of the best selling cars in India. Tata launched many variants of Indica, including Indica Cabs and the car was also re-badged by rover and sold as CityRover.
Maruti Suzuki’s Swift Dzire has been the first choice for Indians as an under 10 lakh sedan. The car offers best in class features and as a sedan variant, it has topped the chart of best selling cars, every year. The new Dzire also features a completely revamped design that fits well into the sedan frame.
General Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander of Europe said "The Jeep, the Dakota airplane, and the landing craft were the three tools that won the war." Mahindra agreed with the good General and acquired a license to manufacture cars under license of the Willys Jeep in India. The iconic 4X4, over the decades with multiple evolutions resulted in the much loved Mahindra Thar. The off-roader is loved by enthusiasts all over the country.
7. Toyota Qualis
Qualis was one of the most trusted multi-purpose vehicles and an absolute underdog. It was the launch vehicle of Toyota in India. Qualis was a hit and was welcomed by taxi and fleet operators over other makes like Tata's Sumo. Qualis helped Indians families commute easily by offering them Japanese reliability.
8. Mahindra E20
When India stepped into the 21st century, its automakers advanced their offerings to match the needs of the masses. Mahindra acquired the Bangalore based Reva electric car company and the company's flagship vehicle, REVAi was made available in 26 countries with more than 4,000 different versions, which were sold worldwide by mid March 2011. The next generation Mahindra E2O is currently lapping in Indian streets.
9. Tata Nano
After Tata successfully launched its low cost Tata Ace truck in 2005, it started developing an economically feasible four-wheel alternative to motorcycles, which would appeal to Indians. The automaker dispensed with nonessential features, reduced the amount of steel to be used in construction and utilized low cost Indian labor, this helped in bringing down the purchase price of Tata Nano. Introduction of the Nano received substantial media attention because of its price tag, both domestically and internationally.
10. Mahindra Scorpio
Mahindra launched Scorpio to compete with Tata Safari but the car was able to gain immense popularity very fast and soon became one of the most selling cars in India. Like the Mahindra E2O, even Scorpio has represented India in international markets. The car was sold as the Mahindra Goa in European markets and it was also able to bag three prestigious awards in India: the "Car of the Year" award from Business Standard Motoring, as well as both "Best SUV of the Year" and the "Best Car of the Year" awards from BBC World Wheels.