This article is a tribute to the transition era in the Indian Automobile industry. This was the era when imported cars made their debut to the Indian market and became the apple of every car lover’s eyes.  We have discussed 15 most aspired cars from the 90s which are out of production now but still make a delightful part of many minds. Here it is –

 

1. Premier Padmini:

Premier Padmini
Once upon a time, owning a Premier Padmini could make you a subject of jealous and discussion in your neighborhood. The car was equally used as passenger vehicle as well as taxi. Once, the flagship car of the country, Premier Padmini, was manufactured from 1964 to 2000 by Premier Automobiles Limited. (More infoPremier Padmini)

 
2. HM Contessa:

HM Contessa
It came to the Indian market in 1983 when almost no one here knew the concept of luxury cars. Its manufacturer Hindustan Motors stopped its production in 2002. (More infoHM Contessa)

 
3. Fiat 118 NE:

Fiat 118 NE

In the 11 years span of its life on the Indian roads, the car was enjoyed and praised by many. The manufacturer Premier Automobiles Ltd  stopped its production in 1997.

 
4. Opel Astra:

Opel Astra

Manufactured by German automaker Opel, the Opel Astra was one of the top aspired luxury cars on the Indian roads back in the retro era. It went out of production in 2002.

 
5. Daewoo Cielo:

Daewoo Cielo

The car had a very short stint on the Indian roads. Its Indo Korean manufacturer DCM Daewoo took this sedan off the roads in 1998. (More info – Daewoo Cielo)

 
6. Daewoo Matiz:

Daewoo Matiz

Without a doubt, this was one of the most popular family cars in the 90s. Bankruptcy got the better of the parent company.

 
7. Maruti Zen:

Maruti Zen

Zen had its time between 1993-2006. You can still find some of the variants like Zen Estilo in the showrooms. Produced by Maruti Suzuki India, this drew huge volumes for the Indo-Japanese company. (More info – Maruti Zen)

 
8. Maruti 1000:

Maruti 1000

This was the doubtless ruler of the Indian roads between the years 1990 to 2000. (More info – Maruti 1000)

 
9. Tata Sierra:

Tata Sierra

The 3-door SUV became the first diesel run personal car in India. Tata Motors Ltd stopped its production in 2000. (More info – Tata Sierra)

 
10. Fiat Uno:

Fiat Uno

Launched in  1996, the car could not capitalize upon its initial success. (More info – Fiat Uno)

 
11. Ford Escort:

Ford Escort

The car was produced from 1996 to 2001. (More info – Ford Escort)

 
12. Maruti Baleno:

Maruti Baleno

The Sedan went out of business in 2006.

 
13. Ford Ikon:

Ford Ikon

The luxury sedan ran on the roads between the years 1999 to 2011. (More info – Ford Ikon)

 
14. HM Mitsubishi Lancer:

HM Mitsubishi Lancer

The company tried to reinvent the car as Mitsubishi Cedia in 2012 but could not be successful. (More info – Mitsubishi Lancer)

 
15. Peugeot 309:

Peugeot 309

The hatchback was the result of a partnership between Premier and Peugeot. This could not make an impact on the market and went out of the race in 2001.

 
Do drop in to let us know if we’ve missed any. Till then, keep revving.

 

To see more discontinued vehicles, click here

 

  • Nar2

    1 Premier Padmini/Fiat 1300 Grand Vue – A Classic – my father’s family had the same one and they owned it for 21 years before it literally fell apart. A classic style and a pity Fiat don’t have something similar on their books nowadays.

    2 The Contessa. Not my favourite. Coming from the UK to India in 1989 opened up my eyes to the cars India had in general compared to the UK. The Vauxhall Victor as it was known as in the U.S built up a good loyal fan base, even if it was too bulky, wide, bouncy and a tendency to rust early.

    3 Fiat/Premier 118NE. We had the dreadful Russian Lada when India had the superior 118NE. You guys got a lovely Isuzu engine in that Premier. The Lada in the UK had an awful gruff engine, available in 1300 and 1500.

    4 Opel Astra – also known as Vaxuhall Astra. Good cars. Hatch and estate cars were also made including sporty 3 door hatch. Still produced today but in a rather different body style.

    5 Daewoo previously owned by GM before GM took over again. The Daewoo sedan was actually sold in the UK under the Vauxhall Astra Belmont sedan. This Daewoo shows off the previous Astra mk1 before the Opel Astra from your 4th selection replaced it.

    6 Daewoo Matiz – like the sedan before, the Matiz was swallowed up by GM who rebadged it as a Chevy/Chevrolet

    7 Maruti Zen – known as Alto in the UK. The UK only imported the 3 speed auto transmission version. A low sales seller.

    8 Maruti 1000 / Suzuki Swift Sedan/Esteem – not a massive, popular option in the UK when it was on sale. Replaced by the Baleno which was more modern but not massively different

    9 Tata Sierra –

    11) Ford Escort – the UK loved them.

    13 Ford Ikon – our 5 door and 3 door hatch is known as Fiesta in the UK. Mazda also sold it under their 121 badge.

    14) Mitsubishi Lancer – I am confused as to why this model has failed to sell in India. Could be down to poor marketing.

    15) Peugeot 309 – not the French firm’s best model, or the nicest to the eye. Big seller in the UK where it was first made. Originally designed to carry the Talbot badge. A 3dr hatch was also available in sports guise/GTI and was a great drive.

  • Nar2

    1 Premier Padmini/Fiat 1300 Grand Vue – A Classic – my father’s family had the same one and they owned it for 21 years before it literally fell apart. A classic style and a pity Fiat don’t have something similar on their books nowadays.

    2 The Contessa. Not my favourite. Coming from the UK to India in 1989 opened up my eyes to the cars India had in general compared to the UK. The Vauxhall Victor as it was known as in the U.K built up a good loyal fan base, even if it was too bulky, wide, bouncy and a tendency to rust early.

    3 Fiat/Premier 118NE. We had the dreadful Russian Lada when India had the superior 118NE. You guys got a lovely Isuzu engine in that Premier. The Lada in the UK had an awful gruff engine, available in 1300 and 1500.

    4 Opel Astra – also known as Vaxuhall Astra. Good cars. Hatch and estate cars were also made including sporty 3 door hatch. Still produced today but in a rather different body style.

    5 Daewoo previously owned by GM before GM took over again. The Daewoo sedan was actually sold in the UK under the Vauxhall Astra Belmont sedan. This Daewoo shows off the previous Astra mk1 before the Opel Astra from your 4th selection replaced it.

    6 Daewoo Matiz – like the sedan before, the Matiz was swallowed up by GM who rebadged it as a Chevy/Chevrolet

    7 Maruti Zen – known as Alto in the UK. The UK only imported the 3 speed auto transmission version. A low sales seller.

    8 Maruti 1000 / Suzuki Swift Sedan/Esteem – not a massive, popular option in the UK when it was on sale. Replaced by the Baleno which was more modern but not massively different

    9 Tata Sierra –

    11) Ford Escort – the UK loved them.

    13 Ford Ikon – our 5 door and 3 door hatch is known as Fiesta in the UK. Mazda also sold it under their 121 badge.

    14) Mitsubishi Lancer – I am confused as to why this model has failed to sell in India. Could be down to poor marketing.

    15) Peugeot 309 – not the French firm’s best model, or the nicest to the eye. Big seller in the UK where it was first made. Originally designed to carry the Talbot badge. A 3dr hatch was also available in sports guise/GTI and was a great drive.