India’s not really known for producing cars. When names like Maruti 800 and Tata Nano are mentioned, only hardened car enthusiasts have heard of them. The only vehicles produced by an Indian carmaker that are household names in Europe and America are Jaguar and Land Rover that Tata bought for $2.3 billion in 2008. Nothing from any Indian car brands makes any mark in the American market. It’s also the same when you check American cars in the Indian market. Ford’s 2021 withdrawal from India leaves Jeep as the only US brand available on the subcontinent. Overall new car sales are down thanks to Covid. Ford, for example, lost 30 percent of its business during the third quarter of 2021, so there’s every chance cheaper Indian car brands can begin to make some sort of impact on the market.
We’re starting with the worst brand, but to be fair, it’s no contest with Hradyesh chose to call their only car the Morris Street. It looks like a ‘50s hot-rod with flared wheel arches and a great retro-appeal, but underneath the hood, there’s a 1.4-liter motor that only develops 90 hp. How long would a quarter-mile drag race take to complete in a car like that? The car’s hand-built and luxurious compared to Indian standards, but it won’t win any contests (except worst car of the year, perhaps).
Mahindra and Mahindra
Indian readers will have heard of Mahindra and Mahindra. This is one of India’s most popular car makers, which is known for its powerful engines. They produce one of India’s most popular SUVs – the Mahindra Scorpio. Unfortunately, there’s little chance of it reaching American or European soil as it achieved a zero Global NCAP rating. The driver’s chest and head are poorly protected in this car. The car also rated zero for Child Restraints and Adult Occupancy Protection.
Hindustan Motors was one of the largest car producers in India until 1908, when Maruti Suzuki took up its mantel. They produce a stream of fleet cars that are old Mitsubishi models, including the Lancer, Pajero, Montero, and Outlander, but the Ambassador is the car they’re known for. It’s still popular with political dignitaries, but the public tends to buy other brands.
Although they’re a subsidiary of Suzuki, their history means they are an Indian car brand. Maruti Udyog was founded in 1981 and run by the government of India. It wasn’t until 2003 that it was sold to Suzuki Motor Corporation. They sell a wide range of cars that include hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, and minivans, and they have an extensive network of service centers and dealerships across India.
Tata Motors own Land Rover and Jaguar, but the cars they sell under their own name are also very popular in India. They know their market very well. It’s one in which small city cars with minimal equipment sell the best, so you won’t be surprised to read that they sell the world’s most affordable car – the Tata Nano. These guys sell a wide range of vehicles, but they’re generally smaller than most American market cars. For example, the Nexon is a subcompact crossover, and the Tigor is a subcompact sedan. Even their largest cars are small. The Safari is a mid-sized SUV. Tata makes nothing bigger unless you pick something from Land Rover.
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