Indian Cars Making A Splash In The West

Indian automakers are starting to gain mindshare of the western audience with their products. The Tata Nexon recently scored full five stars in the Global New Car Assessment Program and became the first made-in-India car to do so.

The world’s largest auto show is in the books now. The 2019 North American International Auto Show of Detroit introduced us to the long-awaited and longer-rumored Toyota Supra. But the car that impressed the Jalopnik editor, Jason Torchinsky, was the Mahindra Marazzo.
This wagon became India’s car of the year 2018 in Team-BHP’s polls by a huge margin. And now, it’s winning enthusiasts at the world’s automotive capital. Jason called it the most interesting car at the Detroit auto show and for good reason. The Marazzo is indeed a unique thing. It’s the only front-wheel drive car in India (and probably in the world) with ladder frame underpinnings. Driving the front wheels is efficient and helps with the fuel efficiency figure. And a ladder frame is rugged-enough to take the abuse a people-carrier is expected to deal with on Indian “roads.” The packaging also helps eliminate the floor hump and liberate a good amount of space in the second and third rows.

Speaking of Indian cars with clever packaging that impressed Jason, Tata Nano. The automotive blog reviewed a 10-year old Tata Nano and called it an engineering triumph. The Nano and the Mahindra Roxor were also listed as one of the best cars Jalopnik staff had reviewed in 2018; sharing the space with the Tesla Model 3 and Mazda Miata.
Here’s an excerpt from the review:
“I’m delighted to report that this, the cheapest new car you can buy in the world, does its job. Really, it does its job much better than it has any right to, considering the absurdly low cost of this thing.
It is an absolute design and engineering triumph. I don’t care that it’s not selling well in India. That doesn’t faze me a bit. I don’t care because the end result is an absolutely ingenious design.
The Bugatti Chiron is a joke next to the design and engineering of the Nano. The Nano is an engineering triumph, and the Chiron is an engineering stunt.
The Nano is the true spiritual heir of what the original Volkswagen Beetle, Citroën 2Cv, BMC Mini, and Ford Model T strove to be. I can think of no higher praise than that.”

2 thoughts to “Indian Cars Making A Splash In The West”

  1. Good to see the efforts of OEMs from India on the design front. Reality is No Indian OEM car is successful in Europe or USA. There will be none in the future if it is ICE and diesel. The only success is Mahindra Tractors. Mahindra could have done well with H2O if they just didn’t think about price point, but had thought about the range and features. Global NCAP 5-star is way below Euro NCAP 5-star that requires AEB as standard. Sometimes it is not nice to see mixed signals from a manufacturer like Tata. They got 5-star with Nexon and they leave out most of the safety features in all variants of Harrier except the top-end. Whatever you see as a feature on the front page of the website available only in Top end variant. Maybe OEMs struggle within organizations trying to pacify marketing heads on price points and leave out important features that could bring more accolades worldwide.

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