Much before the Rapids and i20s took Indian roads by storm; cars like Fiat 118 NE, HM Contessa and Daewoo Cielo owned the roads. Everybody had them and everybody loved them. While Contessa was almost like a muscle car, sedan car Cielo was considered a status symbol among our rich desis back in the day.
It was in the '90s that the period of imported cars began to boom in India. Growing up in that era was pretty awesome if you think about it now, sure, we had to push that Premier Padmini once in a while to start, but overall life was cool. With big bumblebee shades and a true zest for life, the joy of going for a picnic in daddy's new Tata Sierra was out of this world.
Here are 16 cars that were a rage in the '90s, but aren't available anymore.
Premier Padmini: Believe it or not, there was a time when Premier Padmini was considered a prized possession, not just a taxi on the road. The car that represented India in many ways was manufactured from 1964 to 2000 by Premier Automobiles Limited.
HM Contessa: Manufactured by Hindustan Motors, Contessa was among the few Indian luxury cars in the market when it was introduced in 1983. Its production ended in 2002.
Fiat 118 NE: Manufactured by Premier Automobiles Ltd from 1986 to 1997, the Fiat 118 NE had a good run on Indian roads in the 11-year period.
Opel Astra: Manufactured by German automaker Opel, the Opel Astra was considered as one of the luxury cars in the country in the ’90s. It’s production ended in 2002.
Daewoo Cielo: Manufactured by DCM Daewoo in the country, this luxury sedan ruled Indian roads for a very short period. It went out of production in the late ’90s.
Daewoo Matiz: One of the most popular hatchbacks of the ’90s, Daewoo Matiz is now out of production.
Maruti zen: Produced and sold in India by Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki, the hatchback gained massive popularity since its production in 1993. It went out of production in 2006, however, its different versions like Zen Estilo are still available.
Maruti 1000: The Maruti 1000 was produced in India from 1990 to 2000. The sedan-type car owned Indian roads for that decade.
Tata Sierra: The Tata Sierra was the first diesel vehicle to be accepted as a personal car in India. The three-door SUV was produced by Tata Motors Ltd till 2000.
Fiat Uno: The car was launched in India in 1996. Though it gained popularity initially, it failed to have an impact in the Indian market. The car is out of production now.
Ford Escort: The car was produced from 1996 to 2001.
Maruti Baleno: Maruti Udyog put the brakes on the production of Baleno in 2006.
Ford Ikon: The luxury sedan was manufactured for more than 10 years from 1999 to 2010.
HM Mitsubishi Lancer: The production of Mitsubishi Lancer was stopped in mid 2012. It was reinvented as Mitsubishi Cedia, but the production of that was also stopped later in the same year.
Peugeot 309: The Peugeot 309 was manufacture in partnership with Premier. Though the initial demand was high, the hatchback didn’t have an impact as such and it has been out of production since 2001.