2012 : The car we would rather not have had



Among the four score odd emails that I received in response to the call for choosing the worst car of 2012, there was one that reminded me of my own promise from the year before, to not term it as such. I would stick to that promise and not call the particular car as the worst. Instead let’s call it a car we would rather not have.

For something that is based on votes, the sample size this time is small. At barely 84 votes, it is even smaller than last year. Which is not surprising. This isn’t a topic that would interest everybody.

Nor is it something that has been publicized…no giant billboards, or front page and prime time advertisements, or SMS campaigns urging people to vote for the ugly.

Winning the coveted title, by some margin, is the Nissan Evalia with 40% votes. The sofa on four wheels Toyota Camry came in second with 21 votes or 25% votes while Chevrolet Sail U-VA got 17 votes. The Hyundai Sonata escaped with minimum embarrassment and a 14% share.

Does this tell us anything new? Not as such. We know Evalia isn’t quite as revolutionary as Nissan would have hoped for. The fracas between Nissan’s marketing arm Hover and its dealers across the country has not helped its cause but that does not hide the fact that the market has rejected it. It never had the looks of an Innova slayer but if it had been honest to itself, it may have found a market.

Camry’s fate will not affect Toyota’s fortunes one bit. Like Sonata, it lacks a diesel and I think the Japanese company never had any high hopes from it. But Sail U-VA is another sob story. It did not bring anything new to the market and was not quite the vehicle that could have pulled GM out of the rut it finds itself in, in India.

I wish there will not be a need to write a blog like this again. But barely a month into the new year, I know that would not be.

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