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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are reports that the Telco compamy in India are in talks with MG Rover to sell their indica car through the MG R dealerships.The Indica, a 1,400 cc super-mini car that sells in India for 325,000 to 400,000 rupees ($6,675-$8,215), would plug a major gap in the product lineup of MC Rover
They hope to sell 60-70,000 units over a five year period starting in early 2003.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Petrol

The petrol-engined Indica has come a long way since it was launched three years ago. Petrol power wasn't even a priority at the time and the original models came with such basics like a carburettor, four-speed gearbox and no air con. Tata first got serious about its petrol car when it launched the Indica 2000, with multi-point-fuel-injection (MPFI) and packed it with a long list of features. Today, it has raised its petrol game further with the Petrol V2 which borrows all the mods and improvements that have been carried out on the highly successful diesel model. For starters you get the wider 165/65 tyres, a revamped suspension, improved gearshift and better insulation against noise. But more important you get all the numerous modifications that has finally made the Indica reliable. For a car with sporting pretensions, the petrol V2 looks the part, especially in LXi trim. It comes with a roof-mounted spoiler (which houses a brake light) and some jazzy badging at the rear. The insides get new seat fabric, sporty white dials and a not-so-nice silver- painted centre console. All this topped off by a sexy looking aluminium gear knob. If only the shift itself was just as good. Kitted out in the optional alloys, the Indica which always looked great looks even better. But does it have the go to match its show? In a word, yes!

Though the 75bhp, 1.4-litre petrol engine is identical to the earlier Indica 2000's, revised fuel mapping in the interests of better fuel economy has optimised the performance. Tata claims the changes to the petrol V2's purpose-built Hitachi fuel injection system has improved fuel efficiency by almost 15 percent over the Indica 2000. More on that later.


Compared to the Indica 2000, the V2's engine seems smoother, more driveable and responsive. As a result the V2 is much nicer to drive in the cut and thrust of city traffic, a mere dab of the throttle sufficing where earlier you may have needed a sustained prod. The V2 is quicker off the blocks as well. Not only is it quicker than the earlier 2000, but hammers all the cars in its class, save for the Palio 1.6. We were greatly impressed by the effortless way in which the petrol V2 would surge forward, in a way that would embarrass many cars costing twice as much. A 0-100kph time of 13.6 puts it 2 seconds quicker than its main rival, the 1.2 Palio and cocks a snook at both of Maruti's hot hatches - the Alto VX and Zen VX. Mid-range grunt is also terrific and you always feel you have an abundance of power which can be called upon with just a flex of the foot. However, the Indica delivers its performance in a crude sort of way. The engine is fairly noisy for a petrol and you are constantly aware of the mechanical activity under the hood. Pushing it to the redline, the engine takes on a distinctively coarse note. Improving the dynamic balance of the engine and using lighter moving parts is the answer for a motor that has been derived from the heavier diesel. The gearshift unfortunately still has that rubbery, imprecise feel that has tainted the Indica driving experience since its inception.



The ride and handling of the Indica is again much improved but nowhere close to the magic carpet ride of the Palio. The wider tyres and tauter suspension mean straight line stability, braking and general levels of grip are impressive. But the handling still doesn't match the performance. The culprit is the steering which feels imprecise and vague around the straight-ahead position. Also the lack of front end bite makes it difficult to place the Indica accurately through corners. For most purposes the V2 Petrol's road manners will do fine but compared to the Palio, it just doesn't give you the same level of confidence. Fuel consumption is certainly improved over the Indica 2000. We managed to get 9.3kpl in the city and 14.8kpl on the highway. That's pretty acceptable to those who want a car to be more fun than frugal but compared to other hatchbacks, the V2 petrol sits at the bottom of the table.

Other Indica virtues like class- leading space and comfort, a solid build and feeling of safety. There are still some edges left and the fit and finish though greatly improved still doesn't square up to the competition. But wait. We haven't mentioned the price yet. At Rs 3.72 lakh for the base model and Rs 4.36 lakh for the LXi, it's not only Rs 50,000 cheaper than the Palio as of December 2001, but it's the cheapest and largest car in its class. Want value for money?
You can't get better than this.
 

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Interesting. Telco are a huge Indian conglomerate, and If MG-R can align themselves to massive concerns such as this (and Brilliance) with all the related economies of scale, a very intriguing few years lay ahead.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The plot thickens! this story via the indian times says the indica will use MG Rover engines..........


Rover to steer Indica in UK
The Times of India; Feb 15, 2002
BY RAJARSHI ROY



MUMBAI: Ratan Tata's dream car Indica is heading for the Queen's land. The Tata group flagship firm Telco is in talks with the MG Rover group, a loss-making unit of German luxury car maker ***, to market the Indica in Britain under the Rover badge.

''Indica is of specific interest to MG Rover because they have no small car at present and this tie-up could supplement its product line,'' sources told The Times of India.

The export model Indica, however, will have a more powerful Rover engine as the British firm feels that current Telco powertrain is considered under-powered for the British customers. Trials on the new Indica with Rover engines are already underway in Pune.

The cars are likely to be exported to the UK company as knocked down kits and will be assembled at Rover's local unit. The cars will be sold through Rover's 250-strong dealer network.

Both the firms have already held detailed meetings. Rover executives had even visited Telco's factory last year while officials from the Tata firm had been to the UK last month. A draft deal will soon be placed before the boards of the two companies, sources said. Telco spokesman V Krishnan, however, refused to comment on the deal.

If the deal is clinched, Indica exports are likely to commence by mid-2003. Tata Engineering is expected to provide between 60,000 and 70,000 upgraded Indicas to Rover over the next five years. "Telco envisioned exporting 12,000 Indicas a year to the UK for sale through GM Rover," sources added.

The deal could also help India's third-largest carmaker increase sales of the Indica, its single model, to profitable levels. Telco has posted losses the past seven quarters, which analysts attribute primarily to the initial failure of the Indica. Sales of the vehicle, the first passenger car developed completely in India, have risen sharply since Telco rolled out an improved model early last year.

Telco is now targetting to sell about 60,000 Indicas in the current fiscal. In January, sales of the Indica, which holds a 22.1 per cent share of the competitive premium hatchback market in India, jumped 148 per cent from the previous year to 7,365 units. Due to a marked increase in both its car and truck sales, the company expects to break even in the next fiscal.
 
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Kev

This is most intriguing. I remember this topic mentioned a while back on Yahoo Groups.

I have uploaded some stuff onto the main site - will have to place this article and picture there too. No smoke without fire.

Have much to catch up on after only 7 days away!:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
this car was unveiled at auto expo 2002,its the indica's slightly bigger brother built on the same platform.production begins september.
 

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the whole idea of this badge engineering exercise is a complete disaster waiting to happen. The powers that be at Rover in the early and mid 80s badge engineered Hondas and claimed they were Rovers.... Now they plan to do the same with a 5th rate Indian car proudly proclaimed on the Tata website as having cost less money to develop than any car in history.

Sure they'll pop in a new engine in place of the converted diesel that in it now.... sure they'll put a Rover adge on it because nobody has ever heard of Tata, but a K series engine and a badge do not a Rover make. This car remains a 4 year old, developed on the cheap in a 2nd world country vehicle. Rovers used to be known as innovative, high quality engineering. The 80s exercises might have seen the company survive but the nearly destroyed the marque. Don't do it again!

MG Rover - Build you own..... if you can't afford to do it find a partner to share in the cost of building YOUR car. don't just buy theirs because it's cheap. Maybe if you just think about it for even a few seconds you'll realise it's cheap because it's rubbish.
 
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Hi Patrick (welcome)

Patrick has a very valid point. Do we, in this country (UK), take serious all those badge engineered small cars that are kicking about - the Vauxhall Viglia (I think) - NO!

What about the Triumph Acclaim, yes it did spawn the Rover 200 series, but at the time the Acclaim replaced the home grown Triumph product - very sad days.

This country does have the expertise to build anything, obviously time scales and cost are the stumbling blocks to get something on the forecourts ASAP. I'm sure MGR can do another MGF with a risk sharing partner, such as Mayflower and maybe they are already persuing this. Indica maybe only a brief stop gap and maybe a worthwhile one too?

If it is modified and manufactured (steel pressings ect) in the UK and built at Longbridge with the K series then maybe, maybe it could be OK. But most definitely not as MG, maybe as an Austin? Image, image, image.

Finally, the car has to be judged on it's own merits and MGR do have to be congratulated on having the nouce to "have a go" at filling the niche left vacant after Metro/Rover100. Clearly the MINI wouldn't because it is over engineered.

Anyway this is what Autocar has to say about it:

MGR is plotting to sell uprated versions of India's Tata Indica supermini through its British dealer network

Reports from India say the cars would be badged as Rovers, powered by K-series engines and get the standard airbags and ABS not offered in the home market.

In an exclusive interview, MGR chief executive kevin Howe acknowledges they are having "good discussions" and confirms that British-powered prototypoes are already running on test in India. But, he added, the talks are nowhere near a conclusion yet.

The Indica, a Fiat Punto-sized 5-door supermini, is ntoable for its low home price of about £5,000 and generous cabin space The pretty body styling is by Italy's IDEA design house, and the car went on sale in India in 1998 where it is powered by 1.4 liter petrol and diesel engines.

"In fact, we have a numbr of options for partnerships," said Howe, "and at the moment they're all live because no deals have been done. We're also talking to China Brilliance, for instnce, and will probably reach a conclusion there before we do anything final with Tata."

Howe added that MGR owns its own engine company, Midland Powertrain, recently bought from ***. Tata could simply become a straightforward customer for K-series, he said. The Indica could even be assembled on the Longbridge production line.
 

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Well, first up we should remember that If Alchemy had got MGR then those production lines at Longbridge would have been shipped out to TATA/Telco, and they were also the hot favourite to buy Powertrain, until Ford vetoed it thankfully.
This whole thing stems from Telco's interest in Powertrain, as they wanted the K for this, and other, models in the range. So we should be grateful that MGR have another customer for the K which brings in £'s, and this can be spent on product development.
As stated on another thread, this is A SHORT TERM FIX only. It will, however, be VERY competitevly priced (If it goes ahead) and will not be around for long. It will, however be seriously re-engineered for our market, and will increase showroom traffic to a fair extent. MGR have their own solutions for this sector, which will come to pass in the fullness of time. And if it means initally a bit of badge enginnering for the short term, then I for one am all for it.;)
 

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Nice to see that Kev has posted a pic of the recent Styling update of the Hindustan Ambassador.
Couldnt help noticing that the front has more than a whiff of the new MINI about it....I know what |I'd rather have, even if it does mean an Izuzu engine these days!
 

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Patrick - you make a good point, but remember that the MG badge engineered versions of ARG products in the 1980s were well recieved at their launch. It became fashionable, of course, to deride cars like the Metro or Maestro, but lets not forget that the MG Maestro turbo could accelerate faster than the porsche of the day and is an extremely well sorted car.

What I'm trying to say is that badge engineering is done by EVERYONE nowadays. Volkswagen/Audi/SEAT/Skoda are all now basically the same cars rebodied. GM over the world (Vauxhall/Opel/Holden etc) are just re badged versions. The new Jaguar X Type is mostly just a tarted up Ford Mondeo. Most of the major maufacturers now also share a large amount of their components.

If Rover can do for this Indian car what they have done in, say, the transformation of the R45 to the ZS, then I don't see it being a problem as a short term measure.

We shall wait and see....
 

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Somehow I would Imagine that the current Indica is not something that we will see sporting the Rover badge.
The smart money seems to be on an joint new model.

;) Mum's the word.
 

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Dave Harrison said:
Somehow I would Imagine that the current Indica is not something that we will see sporting the Rover badge.
The smart money seems to be on an joint new model.

;) Mum's the word.
Interesting how many design cues it shares with the TCV actually. I would think that a joint development of this car as a 25 replacement would sensible.
 

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I think this would be a sub 25 car looking at the size, supermini class seems to be spliting into 2 sizes. The Polo , 206 , R25 as one lot and the 106, ka , saxo etc as another. The next 25 should stay the same size and this car can slot in below that.
 

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maybe it's just my australian outlook but to me een the 75 isn't by any stretch of the imagination a big car. 25 sized cars are considered small here and anything smaller (daewoo matiz, toyota echo etc) are considered to be shopping trolleys.
 
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