The reasons behind the failure of station wagons in India

The reasons behind the failure of station wagons in India New Tata
author image CarTrade Editorial Team
Thursday 06 December 2012, 11:55 AM

Station wagons, which are cars with body style similar to that of a sedan or saloon, with the roof extended backwards, have been present in the country for quite sometime now. However, the station wagons have never picked up sales in India, irrespective of it coming from the stables of trusted car makers like Maruti and Tata.

The reasons behind the failure of station wagons in India

The first ever station wagon car built by Tata, known as Tata Estate, was launched in the country way back in 1992. However, the car failed to lure buyers and its production was later stopped due to poor demand. Later in the year 2000, another station wagon car from the stables of Maruti, called as Baleno Altura Wagon, was launched in India amid a lot of fanfare. However, this car too failed to impress the car enthusiasts and the buyers. Since then a number of station wagons like General Motor's Swing, Fiat Weekend Adventure, Tata Indigo Marina, etc. all tried their luck; however, none of them managed to reach the zenith of success in India.

Though the failure of station wagon in India is accounted to various reasons, the dealers have insisted that the buyers prefer the conventional saloons in the first place followed by SUVs. One other reason for this is that the station wagons are priced slightly higher than the conventional three-box cars. Therefore, despite the station wagons coming in new styles and new features, its sales have never really seen an upward trend in the country.

Apart from the reasons cited above, experts are of the view that the station wagons available in the country do not have enough space in the third row as the roof of the car is lower in comparison to SUVs; thus people are not at ease when sitting there. Therefore, those who want 4 to 5 comfortable seats and have a pet dog or lots of luggage to carry may prefer to buy a station wagon; however, the number of people with such needs are very few. Moreover, the SUVs offer higher ground clearance and better driving position. Therefore, SUVs are preferred over station wagons in the country as they are considered better for the Indian roads.

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