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automobiles


Automobile Types
The high growth in the Indian economy has resulted in many foreign car manufacturers entering the Indian market. Rolls Royce, Bentley and Maybach are examples of the few high end automobile manufacturers to enter India in the recent years.

There were only a few handful of cars in the Indian market in the 1980s. Most of these were outdated models like Hindustan Motors' Ambassador (which is still produced and sold). The only car with the latest technology then was the Maruti 800. It became very popular because of the low price, high fuel efficiency and good reliability. Since then the market has grown with over 20 manufacturers and hundreds of models and variants. The Maruti 800 is at the lower end of the price range costing approx US $5,000 and Bugatti Veyron at the other with a price tag of over 2 Million US dollars.

The Indian automotive industry has also greatly matured. The Tata Indica was indigenously developed by Tata Motors. Another Indian manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra also came up with its own SUVs, the Scorpio and the Bolero. These cars have proved very popular here and are also exported to the European markets. An electric car is also manufactured by a local company, REVA. Tata Motors plans to produce the world's first air powered in partnership with MDI of France.

The passenger vehicle sales in India crossed the one million mark in 2005. This segment grows at 10-15% annually. Around 85% of the cars sold in India are financed as against the global average of 70%. In neighbouring China,only 15-20% vehicles are financed. There are only three cars in India for 1000 people as compared to the other extreme 500 cars for 1000 people in the United States. Goldman Sachs has predicted that India will have the maximum number of cars on the planet by 2050 overtaking the United States.

Production Facilities
 BMW

  • Chennai,Tamil Nadu

Chevrolet

  • Halol,Gujrat

Fiat

  • Pune,Maharashtra

Ford

  • Chennai,Tamil Nadu

Honda

  • Noida,Uttar Pradesh

Hyundai

  • Chennai,Tamil Nadu

Mahindra

  • Nashik,Maharashtra

Mahindra-Renault

  • Nasik, Mahrashtra & Chennai, Tamilnadu (Under construction)

Mercedes-Benz

  • Pune,Maharashtra

San

  • Verna,Goa

Suzuki

  • Gurgaon,Haryana

Tata

  • Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh
  • Pune,Maharashtra
  • Jamshedpur,Jharkhand
  • Singur,West Bengal

Toyota

  • Bangalore,Karnataka

Domestic
Austin

  •  Six (Discontinued)

BMW
BMW is manufacturer of prestigious sport sedans that are known for their nimble handling. BMW enjoys good brand recognition in India,thanks to Indian movies and the rich who have been importing these cars for decades. It has set up a plant in Chennai,Tamil Nadu to manufacture cars locally exclusively for the local market with no plans for export.It set up a plant locally to circumvent the high import duties.

  •   3 Series
  •   5 Series

Chevrolet
Chevrolet has been one of the most recognized brands in India for several decades. They were made popular as the vehicle of choice of the heroes in Bollywood movies. The odel lineup consists of vehicles from cheaper sister brands like Daewoo. General Motors initially entered India with the Opel brand, but the Opel brand was dropped in March 2006 because sales were at an all time low due to high prices and General Motors wanted to focus more on their Chevrolet brand. Since the Chevrolet brand was introduced in India, there have been no new Opel products.

GM's Indian operations were originally a JV between Hindustan Motors and GM, with most of GM's vehicles assembled at Hindustan's plant in Halol, Gujarat. Since then, GM India is now wholly owned by GM.
Cars from Chevrolet are:

  • Tavera - Rebadged Isuzu Panther
  • Aveo - Second Generation Chevrolet Aveo sedan
  • Aveo UV-A - First Generation Chevrolet Aveo hatchback
  • Forester - (Discontinued) Rebadged First Generation Subaru Forester
  • Optra - Rebadged Daewoo Lacetti
  • SRV - Rebadged Daewoo Lacetti
  • Spark - Formerly Daewoo Matiz in India

Chinkara

  • Roadster
  • Jeepster

Daewoo

  • Cielo (Discontinued)
  • Matiz (Discontinued, Now re-launched as Chevrolet Spark))
  • Nexia (Discontinued)

Dodge

  • Kingsway (Discontinued)

Fiat
Fiat India has struggled in India since its inception. The Fiat Uno was one of the first products to be introduced. The Fiat Palio was later introduced and was initially a big hit with its style and ride comfort coupled with solid build but has slowly lost its sheen due to low fuel efficiency. Other models were introduced such as the Palio Weekend and Siena. Fiat tried re-branding of the Fiat Siena to Fiat Petra without much success. It roped in Sachin Tendulkar as one of its brand ambassadors. Even Michael Schumacher appeared in an ad for the Palio. It has entered now into an alliance with Tata Motors to jointly manufacture cars at its plant in Ranjangaon, near Pune. The facility will enable the two companies to make about 200,000 cars per annum, and also house an engine manufacturing unit with a capacity of 250,000 units per annum. The alliance will also see Tata Motors use Fiat's diesel technology - the 1.3 litre multijet diesel engine - for its own vehicles. The two companies also have a distribution and service partnership.

  • Uno(Discontinued)
  • Palio
  • Palio Stile
  • Siena(Discontinued)
  • Siena Weekend (Discontinued)
  • Petra(Discontinued)
  • Adventure

Force Motors
Force Motors was formerly known as Bajaj Tempo Ltd. Founded in 1958, it is located in Akurdi, a Pimpri-Chinchwad neighbourhood of Pune, India. They manufacture three wheelers, multi utility and cross country vehicles, light commercial vehicles, tractors and now heavy commercial vehicles.

  • Gama, Cruiser
  • Trax, Toofan, Challenger

Ford
Ford entered India in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra in 1995 with a major plant in Tamil Nadu. The first model was the Escort.

  • Escort  - It was offered with a 1.3 Liter petrol termed Alpha and 1.5 Liter Diesel engine termed Orion, and at a time when the car wars in India had just begun. The diesel version was fancied by many due to the fact that diesel was available at half the price of petrol(gasoline/gas) in India at that time. Among the famous owners of the Ford Escort was Azim Premji who drove a black one for almost eight years until he traded it for a Toyota Corolla. The Ford Escort 1.8 was ranked the highest in the J.D. Power and Associates 1997 Indian Customer Satisfaction Study. It was also voted the Best Quality Car in the J.D. Power India Initial Quality Study.
  • Ikon - Was launched to phase out the Escort, known for the Rocam engine, available with a choice of petrol and diesel version, the car did well. Ford is known for launching new versions with some minor cosmetic changes every now and then.
  • Mondeo (Discontinued) - Was Ford's offering to the D segment in India in 2001, was brought in as a CBU from Belgium with Ghia being the only trim version available. It was available with both 2.0L Duratorq diesel and 142 bhp 2.0L petrol Duratec engines. It was the first car to be offered with Xenon HID headlamps in India. It is alleged that the Mondeo performed better than the 2.3 L Accord available in India at that time. But buyers stayed away as it was more expensive than the Accord. The diesel version was phased out in 2003.
  • Endeavour - Sold as the Ford Everest in other parts of Asia and based on the Ranger pickup, it was offered in both 4X4 and 4X2 options but with only a 2.5 L, 4 Cylinder In-line, Turbocharged & Inter cooled Diesel Engine and manual transmission.
  • Fusion - was launched as a Urban Activity Vehicle available with a 1.6 L , 4 cyl 101 bhp engine with 5 speed manual transmission.
  • Fiesta - Launched in November 2005 and was Ford's fifth model in India, and is available in 1.6 L petrol and 1.4 L diesel engines. Bill Ford made a personal visit to launch the car in India.

Hindustan Motors
Hindustan Motors is one of the oldest Indian car manufacturers. It is best known for the Ambassador which has been virtually unchanged for about 30 years. It is still very popular as a taxi and is widely used by Indian politicians. Many people have come to associate India with Ambassador and is a prominent part of the Indian landscape.

  • Trekker (Discontinued)
  • Landmaster (Discontinued)
  • Contessa (Discontinued) - 5th Generation Vauxhall Victor
  • Ambassador - a version of the 1950s Morris Oxford.

Honda
Honda Siel Cars entered India in 1995. It sells 4 cars in India - the City, Civic, Accord, and CR-V. The manufacturing plant of Honda Siel is located in Greater Noida. The model of Accord sold in India is the 2003 model. The most inexpensive car from Honda - The City. The most Expensive - The Honda Accord V6.

  • Accord - It was introduced in India in July 2001. It is sold in three versions - Accord VTi-L M/T, Accord VTi-L A/T and Accord V6 A/T. Both the engines, the standard i-4 and V-6 have be de-tuned which produce less power compared to the American models, the I-4 produces 142 bhp while the V6 produces 221 bhp, de-tuned for better fuel efficiency.
  • City - Was launched in India in December 1997 ,initially offered in two options. A 1.3 liter engine producing 90 bhp and a bigger 1.5 liter producing 100 bhp. Two years later a VTEC option was also offered. All were four cylinder engines. In October 2003 the City underwent a major revamp and is popularly called as New Honda City (NHC). Surprisingly Honda gave the new City less powerful engines and decided to improve the fuel efficiency. The new City features a 1.5 liter engine producing 77 bhp. It offered more interior space and with bright and refreshing interiors. About two years later, a face lifted version - CITY ZX - was introduced. At the same time, a VTEC engine model too was introduced.
  • Civic - Was launched in July 2006 in India 6 months after the international debut. The car is the first in this segment in India to offer unprecedented safety features like ABS, EBD as standard. It is also the first in its class to feature reverse swing windshield wipers. The only problem with the car with respect to India is its low ground clearance.
  • CR-V - It was introduced in India along with the Accord. It was and is still offered with a 2.4 liter i-VTEC engine producing 152 bhp.

Hyundai
When Hyundai entered India, the brand was virtually unknown in the Indian market. They signed up Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and their excellent advertising campaign made Hyundai a household name and helped it reach the second place behind market leader Maruti Suzuki.

  • Santro - second generation Hyundai Atos
  • Accent - second generation Hyundai Accent sedan
  • Sonata - sold as the Sonata Embera
  • Verna - third generation Hyundai Accent sedan
  • Getz - sold as the Getz Prime
  • Elantra - 3rd generation Hyundai Elantra sedan
  • Terracan (discontinued)
  • Tucson

International Cars & Motors

  • Rhino

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited
The automotive section of Mahindra started off when a first batch of seventy five Utility Vehicles (UVs) was imported in CKD condition from Willys in 1947. It has come a long way, not just manufacturing Jeeps but also agricultural equipment and light trucks.

  • Armada (Discontinued)
  • Voyager Discontinued)
  • Bolero
  • Commander
  • CL
  • MaXX
  • Scorpio
  • Mahindra and Mahindra Classic This was an open jeep with good off roading capabilities, a 4*4 and 4*2 option, huge headlamps and roof mounted lights.

Renault

  • Logan

Mercedes-Benz

  • M-Class
  • S-Class
  • E-Class
  • C-Class

Mercedes-Benz has had to cater to the ever growning luxury segment in India, in a much better fashion now, especially after the arrival of the other luxury german manufacturers. Now, Mercedes-Benz cars are launched in India soon after the worldwide launch and homologation as opposed to earlier, when Mercedes-Benz had monopolized the niche Indian market.

Mitsubishi Motors

  • Lancer - Sixth Generation Mitsubishi Lancer
  • Cedia - Seventh Generation Mitsubishi Lancer
  • Pajero - Second Generation Mitsubishi Pajero
  • Montero - Third Generation Mitsubishi Pajero

Opel
General Motors' Opel no longer functions in India after its Corsa's production stopped in March 2006. GM is instead focusing on its Chevrolet brand for the Indian market.

  • Corsa (Discontinued) - 2nd Generation Opel Corsa
  • Corsa Sail (Discontinued) - 2nd Generation Opel Corsa
  • Corsa Swing (Discontinued) - 2nd Generation Opel Corsa
  • Vectra(Discontinued) - 3rd Generation Opel Vectra
  • Astra(Discontinued) - 1st Generation Opel Astra

Plymouth

  • Savoy (Discontinued)

Premier Automobiles
Walchand Hirachand started Premier Automobiles Ltd (PAL) in 1942. They were the first to kick off the automobile revolution in India by assembling De Soto and Plymouth cars in 1946 in association with Chrysler from the United States. They also manufactured the famed Premier Padmini which was a version of the Fiat 1100.

  • Padmini (Discontinued)
  • 118 NE (Discontinued)
  • Premier Sigma

Peugeot
Tied up with Premier Automobiles Ltd to manufacture the Peugeot 309. The car was popular but labour problems resulted in it being discontinued and PAL's relation with Peugeot turned sour. After which there was no car launched from the joint venture. Even the existing owners find it difficult to find spares.

  • 309 (Discontinued)

Renault (Mahindra Renault)

  • Logan

REVA

  • REVA

Rover

  • Montego (Discontinued)

San

  • Storm

Sipani

  • Badal (Discontinued)
  • Badal 4 (Discontinued)
  • Dolphin (Discontinued) - a version of the Reliant Kitten, a Reliant Robin with 4 wheels and Triumph inspired front suspension.
  • Montana (Discontinued)
  • Montana D1 (Discontinued)

Škoda
Škoda is an important car manufacturer of India. It recently launched the Laura, the Octavia still continues to exist. Skoda also offers the Superb in India but it's not too popular.

  • Octavia
  • Superb
  • Laura

Standard Motors

  • Standard Vanguard (Discontinued)
  • Standard 8 (Discontinued)
  • Standard 10 (Discontinued)
  • Standard Penant (Discontinued)
  • Triumph Herald (Discontinued)
  • Standard Gazel (Discontinued)
  • Standard 2000 (Discontinued) - Rebadged Rover SD1

Maruti Suzuki
Maruti Udyog was formed as a partnership between the Government of India and Suzuki of Japan. It brought India its first "affordable" car, the Maruti 800. It is the biggest car manufacturer in India and especially dominant in the small car sector. After the Maruti 800, it launched the Maruti 1000, followed by the Maruti Esteem the European version of the Suzuki Swift . With the launch of Cielo from DCM Daewoo, Maruti decided to up the game and launched the Maruti Esteem VX, it was followed by the AX version but was dropped later on due to poor sales. Maruti once had a market share of approximately eighty percent, but facing competition with companies like Tata, Hyundai etc. Maruti Udyog's market share has dropped to around forty percent. According to AutoCar India, the only Maruti Suzuki car worth buying is the new Maruti Swift. Maruti Zen's production stopped because of the success of Swift, but it has been revived as the Zen Estilo.

  • 800
  • Omni
  • 1000 (Discontinued)
  • Maruti Zen (Discontinued, but revived and re-branded as the Zen Estilo)
  • Alto
  • Esteem
  • Baleno - (Discontinued)
  • Baleno Altutra - (Discontinued)
  • Gypsy
  • Swift
  • SX4
  • WagonR
  • Versa
  • Zen Estilo - First Generation Suzuki MR Wagon
  • Grand Vitara - First Generation Suzuki Grand Vitara

Tata Motors
Tata Motors, also known as Telco is the third largest car producer in India after Maruti and Hyundai. It was responsible for developing India's first indigenous vehicle, the Indica. It has proved to be a success in the market after initial quality problems. The company also exports the car to many countries.Tata Motors also has an interest in the commercial vehicle segment of which it controls around 70%.

  • Estate(Discontinued)
  • Sierra (Discontinued)
  • Sumo
  • Safari
  • Indica
  • Indigo
  • Indigo Marina
  • TL

Toyota
Toyota Kirloskar sells 4 car models in India. It stopped producing the Toyota Qualis to make way for the Toyota Innova, which was launched in India in 2005. The most expensive car from Toyota is a very powerful SUV - The Land Cruiser Prado. Toyota Kirloskar Motors LTD is a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and the Kirloskar Group.

  • Qualis (Discontinued) - 3rd Generation Toyota Kijang
  • Camry - 6th Generation Toyota Camry
  • Corolla - 9th Generation Toyota Corolla
  • Innova
  • Land Cruiser Prado - 3rd Generation Toyota Prado

Imports
Audi

  • Audi A4
  • Audi A6
  • Audi A8
  • Audi TT
  • Audi Q7

BMW

  • BMW 7-Series
  • BMW X5
  • BMW X3

[edit] Land Rover

  • Range Rover
  • Range Rover Sport

Mercedes-Benz (Daimler Chrysler)

  • CLS-Class
  • SL-Class
  • S-Class
  • SLK Class

Nissan

  • Teana
  •  X-Trail

Porsche

  • 911
  • Boxster
  • Cayenne
  • Cayman

Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce is perhaps the most respected and prestigious car in automotive history and it is available in India at a price tag of Rs.35,000,000.

  • Rolls Royce Phantom

Volvo

  • Volvo XC90


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