The Demise of 9 Cars in India in 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of the Indian automotive industry, 2023 marked a significant turning point with the implementation of the BS6 2.0 emissions norms, also known as the RDE norms. This regulatory overhaul brought about the discontinuation of several cars and SUVs, reshaping the market dynamics. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the specifics of 9 cars that bid farewell in 2023, examining the reasons behind their exit.

Maruti Alto 800: End of an Era

At the forefront of the discontinued models was the venerable Maruti Alto 800, an iconic representation of affordability in the carmaker’s lineup. The decision to cease production in 2023 also signaled the end of the equally iconic 3-cylinder, 796cc petrol engine (codenamed F8D), which had dutifully served the brand for four decades in India. With the introduction of the newer Alto K10 in August 2022, a price overlap between the two models prompted Maruti to streamline its offerings, consolidating the Alto lineup to just the K10 model.

Mahindra KUV100: Bid Adieu to the Compact Dynamism

Mahindra’s compact offering, the KUV100, met its end in 2023. Positioned as the smallest and most affordable model in the Mahindra portfolio, the KUV100 featured a distinctive 6-seater layout in some variants. However, lacking significant upgrades over the years and with dwindling sales, Mahindra opted to discontinue the model. The absence of a compelling business case for updating the KUV100 to meet the stringent RDE norms further solidified its departure from the market.

Honda’s Trifecta Farewell: Jazz, WR-V, and City Gen-4

Among the casualties of the RDE norms, Honda bore the brunt with the discontinuation of three models: the Jazz, the WR-V, and the City Gen-4. The City Gen-4, reaching the end of its lifecycle, paved the way for the newer City Gen-5. Simultaneously, the Jazz faced an extended lifecycle due to developmental challenges, with the fourth-gen Jazz not making it to India. The WR-V, a slow-selling compact SUV, succumbed to the emergence of more competent models, ultimately being replaced by the larger and more premium Elevate.

Nissan Kicks: A Midsize SUV’s Demise

Nissan’s midsize SUV, the Kicks, bowed out ahead of the RDE norms in 2023. Introduced in 2019 to rival the likes of the Creta, the Kicks struggled to gain traction in sales despite competitive pricing. Available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, including a potent 156hp, 1.3-litre turbo-petrol unit, the Kicks faced obsolescence with the lack of periodic updates, succumbing to newer rivals in the segment.

Skoda’s Executive Duo: Superb and Octavia

Skoda bid farewell to its executive sedans, the Superb and Octavia, sharing a 190hp, 2.0-litre petrol engine. With dwindling sales and waning interest in the executive sedan segment, Skoda phased out both models. Notably, the 2.0-litre TSI engine lives on, continuing to power the Kodiaq SUV. Speculation surrounds the potential return of the Octavia in RS guise with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, while the Superb is anticipated to make a comeback as a CBU with an updated engine before the arrival of the fourth-gen model.

Kia Carnival: A Temporary Exit with a Promise of Resurgence

The final model to exit the stage in 2023 was the Kia Carnival, delisted from the carmaker’s website in June. Amidst the onset of the RDE norms, dealers had ceased accepting fresh orders back in April. However, a silver lining awaits as an all-new generation of the Carnival is slated to debut in the second half of 2024. This upcoming model promises to align with global standards, marking a significant leap in size, premium features, and potentially, a notable price increase.

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