I am going to save the year-end melodrama for some other time, or perhaps for never. Cutting straight to the chase, it seemed like a good idea to list out the cars that our market bid farewell to as we also bid our final goodbyes to 2014. This year came as a breath of fresh air for carmakers in the country, after 2013 proved to be rather uneventful, to say the least. That said, even as everyone prepares for next year's onslaught, let us remember the ones we lost this year.
1. Maruti Suzuki 800: This hatchback from Maruti was undoubtedly India's most influential car. Based on the Suzuki Fronte, it was powered by a 796cc, 2-cylinder petrol engine that punched out 37bhp, and offered a top-speed of 130Km/h. The Maruti 800 was first introduced in 1983 and remained in production for over 30 years. The last unit of the car to be produced was a Firebrick Red M800, chassis no 2890893, and rolled off the assembly line at Maruti's Gurgaon plant on January 23, 2014.
Out of the 2.87 million units made, 2.66 million were sold in India.
2. Hindustan Ambassador: Fondly referred to as the King of Indian Roads, Ambassador, or Amby, the car has an extravagant history. The Hindustan Motors Ambassador started its journey in 1957 with a price tag of about ₹ 16,000, that grew up to an average ₹ 5,22,000 by 2014.
In the 1980s, 24,000 units of the car were sold every year, whereas the annual sales trickled down to an average of 6,000 units in the 2000s. What was initially claimed to be a temporary suspension of production in 2014, turned out to be a final goodbye to the beloved Amby.
Also Read: Hindustan Ambassador - 7 Interesting Facts
3. Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo: The launch of the new Celerio, spelled the end of the road for the Maruti Suzuki A-Star and Zen Estilo.
Considered one of the nation's most popular hatchback - the Zen underwent a facelift in 2006 and the new Zen not only received a tall-boy design but also an addition to its name - Estilo. However, it failed to repeat its predecessor's success.
4. Maruti Suzuki A-Star: The other car to be ousted from Maruti Suzuki's production line forever upon the launch of the Celerio was the A-Star. Launched in 2008, it was the first Maruti car to be powered by Suzuki's new K-series engine, i.e. the K10B.
The 998cc petrol motor offered a maximum power of 67bhp and a maximum torque of 90Nm.
5. Maruti Suzuki SX4: This one replaced another beloved Maruti saloon - the Baleno - in 2007. The SX4 performed pretty well in the market till the arrival of the Hyundai Verna. The company decided to finally pull out the product from the Indian market as it launched the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz in hopes to regain lost ground.
The last generation of the Maruti SX4 housed a 1586cc, 4-cylinder petrol engine under the hood that developed 102bhp and 154Nm of torque.
6. Nissan X-Trail: The Japanese carmaker's a premium compact crossover first landed in India in 2004. It arrived as a CBU (completely built unit) throughout its 10 years in the country, before it was finally discontinued this year.
Meant to give competition to the likes of the Honda CRV, Chevrolet Captiva, Renault Koleos and the Audi Q3 S, the X-Trail was offered with a 2.0-litre diesel motor with 150bhp and 320 horses, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
7. Nissan 370Z: Another Nissan CBU and its third offering in the country, the 370Z landed on Indian shores in 2010 and well, did not last long enough. Its 3.7-litre V6 petrol that developed 331bhp and 363Nm of turning power, promised an electronically-limited top-speed of 250Km/h.
P.S: Ideally, Hyundai Santro would have also figured on the list since its production was discontinued this year. However, the company will continue to retail the car till stocks last. Long story short, the Santro is out of production but not the market, not yet at least.