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spygirl

No longer Made In India

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I wonder how much the exchange rate does it for these things. I have a weird desire to import a Lada Niva, and over the past few years, due to the rate variations, the price has fluctuated between under £4k to over £9k. Currently around 6, I think. 

I remember when they first introduced the Nano and remember thinking it isnt that cheap, the Russians were making a car called the 1111 oka that sold for about £850 in the early 2000s...and it was a proper (more or less) car that was a rip off of 80s jap city cars...top speed 75 mph unlike the 40-50 of the Nano, which always seemed to me to be a glorified go kart with roof. 

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I remember reading that at the time and thinking that something similar would do incredibly well here.  There are a lot of skint pensioners who want from their car the ability to go to the shops and their social activities and tend to do less than 1,000 miles a year and never go faster than 40mph.  It seems daft that to do that they have the choice of buying either a car capable of 80mph with 400 mile range or a mobility scooter.  This type of cheapo go kart with roof with a top speed of 50mph would be ideal for them.

 

Quote

The Tata Nano entered the Indian market in 2008 priced from just 100,000 rupees, or about $1,500.

 

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5 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

The Japanese are fond of microcars, because of some sort of legal or tax incentive.

I believe that Japanese people are deliberately small so that they will fit in them.

Kei cars. There is a tax advantage as well as being able to park them - a big thing in Tokyo, If you want a car you need to be able to prove you can park the dam thing somewhere.

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53 minutes ago, PatronizingGit said:

I wonder how much the exchange rate does it for these things. I have a weird desire to import a Lada Niva, and over the past few years, due to the rate variations, the price has fluctuated between under £4k to over £9k. Currently around 6, I think. 

I remember when they first introduced the Nano and remember thinking it isnt that cheap, the Russians were making a car called the 1111 oka that sold for about £850 in the early 2000s...and it was a proper (more or less) car that was a rip off of 80s jap city cars...top speed 75 mph unlike the 40-50 of the Nano, which always seemed to me to be a glorified go kart with roof. 

I would really like a Lada Niva. Remember seeing some sort of 4x4 sporting event on telly and they had to get up a steep muddy hill. Range rovers and jeeps and so on all failed then the Lada went straight up! 

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Oddly, that Nano doesn't look too bad, allowing for the fact that all small cars look a bit silly. And even at it's inflated price, it was cheaper than anything else.

Perhaps production costs were still too high.

Or the build quality and ride were truly, truly awful.

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Yeah badge engineered older designs are the way to go for a low cost no frills car

Up until a few years ago Malaysian car maker Perodua were selling in the UK older Daihatsu designs (Japanese with Toyota engines).  From the late 1990s to the 2000s they held the spoils of selling the cheapest car in the UK. It's a shame that they pulled out now...but when you call a car a 'Myvi' it's probably going to put a few buyets off. O.o

I think the Tata Nano looks absolute shite imo. 

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Posted (edited)

Though they were imported to the UK for a while, I have only ever seen one Hindustan Ambassador. Are they still made?

 

Edit: Wiki says a few were imported only in 1992, and production in India ceased in 2014.

Edited by Happy Renting

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56 minutes ago, PatronizingGit said:

I wonder how much the exchange rate does it for these things. I have a weird desire to import a Lada Niva, and over the past few years, due to the rate variations, the price has fluctuated between under £4k to over £9k. Currently around 6, I think. 

I'm pretty sure an importer on eBay is selling LHD ones for well over £10k. I really like the Niva. It's as old a vehicle design as I am.

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1 minute ago, UmBongo said:

I'm pretty sure an importer on eBay is selling LHD ones for well over £10k. I really like the Niva. It's as old a vehicle design as I am.

You can buy them in Germany, buy one, drive it home.

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I've bought one product direct from India (electronics - and intercom because of advertised spec offer something somewhat unique and cheap).

It was total shite, from the design, to the build, to the operation, right through to quality of materials for the case.

Honestly think they would be incapable of replicating what China have done in terms of manufacturing in any way or form.

 

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9 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

Though they were imported to the UK for a while, I have only ever seen one Hindustan Ambassador. Are they still made?

 

Edit: Wiki says a few were imported only in 1992, and production in India ceased in 2014.

It was basically a rebadged Morris Oxford made, I think, using tools sold to India in the 1950s. They are still very popular cars in India because not much can go wrong with them and they can be easily fixed by the roadside. One of the longest running cars in the world. I think also the Morris Minor is still popular in Sri Lanka and there are body shops that make parts for them over there, so they can be kept going indefinitely. 

I believe a company tried to import the Ambassador into the UK a few years ago, but had to stop when EU emmissions laws made them illegal. 

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6 minutes ago, Option5 said:

You can buy them in Germany, buy one, drive it home.

The Germans have gone mad for Nivas over the last couple of years.  When I was in Berlin last I looked into one, and they seemed expensive, both new and used.   They cost about £5k new in Russia, but get more expensive as they drive through Poland.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I remember reading that at the time and thinking that something similar would do incredibly well here.  There are a lot of skint pensioners who want from their car the ability to go to the shops and their social activities and tend to do less than 1,000 miles a year and never go faster than 40mph.  It seems daft that to do that they have the choice of buying either a car capable of 80mph with 400 mile range or a mobility scooter.  This type of cheapo go kart with roof with a top speed of 50mph would be ideal for them.

 

 

It would be a great car for small islands eg Malta, the Channel Islands etc where the roads are cramped and unsuitable for high speed motoring. 

I think there are several reasons why this doesn't happen. The main one is probably elf n safety, people don't want a car that could be flattened by a yummy mummy in a 4x4 doing her makeup on the school run, and also pride, people still derive some weird sort of status boost from having a big shiny tin heap on the drive of their blinged up 1970s council house. 

To be honest the best solution for most pensioners is to buy a 5-10 year old micro car like a Ford Ka, Peugeot 107 etc. 

Edit: there is now the Renault Twizy, I've seen a couple in London but didn't realise they can seat a passenger as well. Could be the kind of 'go kart' you were thinking of. https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/renault/twizy

Edited by Austin Allegro

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9 minutes ago, Austin Allegro said:

It would be a great car for small islands eg Malta, the Channel Islands etc where the roads are cramped and unsuitable for high speed motoring. 

I think there are several reasons why this doesn't happen. The main one is probably elf n safety, people don't want a car that could be flattened by a yummy mummy in a 4x4 doing her makeup on the school run, and also pride, people still derive some weird sort of status boost from having a big shiny tin heap on the drive of their blinged up 1970s council house. 

To be honest the best solution for most pensioners is to buy a 5-10 year old micro car like a Ford Ka, Peugeot 107 etc. 

That's what they mostly do IME - Nissan Micra, the small Skoda, my mum has a small Suzuki.  Though even these are wildly over-specced for the use to which they are put.  You get some male pensioners who insist on buying something liek a new Merc every three years because they see it as a status symbol but there aren't many like that.

The prices though are high - £10.8k for a new Ford Ka   for example.  I knwo you're saying buy 5 - 10 year old cars but they don't want any hassle or maintenance so they prefer new cars.

That Nano, had it been more reliable, would have been ideal.  New car for £2k that will last them five years and then they buy another one.  And they will never approach that 50mph top speed.

I really think that there is a huge gap in the market now for the small, small-engined cheap town car.

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

That's what they mostly do IME - Nissan Micra, the small Skoda, my mum has a small Suzuki.  Though even these are wildly over-specced for the use to which they are put.  You get some male pensioners who insist on buying something liek a new Merc every three years because they see it as a status symbol but there aren't many like that.

The prices though are high - £10.8k for a new Ford Ka   for example.  I knwo you're saying buy 5 - 10 year old cars but they don't want any hassle or maintenance so they prefer new cars.

That Nano, had it been more reliable, would have been ideal.  New car for £2k that will last them five years and then they buy another one.  And they will never approach that 50mph top speed.

I really think that there is a huge gap in the market now for the small, small-engined cheap town car.

Ford Ka and Fiat 500 are built on the same platform IIRC, just that the Fiat is "pretty" so sells for a premium

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

The Japanese are fond of microcars, because of some sort of legal or tax incentive.

I believe that Japanese people are deliberately small so that they will fit in them.

Yes, Japanese people manufacturers, make sure the Japanese human model is very small so they can fit in the small car.

Edited by Game_of_Homes

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1 minute ago, Option5 said:

Ford Ka and Fiat 500 are built on the same platform IIRC, just that the Fiat is "pretty" so sells for a premium

There's no denying that it is.

I'm sure I've read that the sporty Celica was jsut a rebodied Corolla; appearance is important.

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2 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

There's no denying that it is.

I'm sure I've read that the sporty Celica was jsut a rebodied Corolla; appearance is important.

Image, Image, Image (Buying criteria listed in order of importance for most car buyers)

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21 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

That's what they mostly do IME - Nissan Micra, the small Skoda, my mum has a small Suzuki.  Though even these are wildly over-specced for the use to which they are put.  You get some male pensioners who insist on buying something liek a new Merc every three years because they see it as a status symbol but there aren't many like that.

The prices though are high - £10.8k for a new Ford Ka   for example.  I knwo you're saying buy 5 - 10 year old cars but they don't want any hassle or maintenance so they prefer new cars.

That Nano, had it been more reliable, would have been ideal.  New car for £2k that will last them five years and then they buy another one.  And they will never approach that 50mph top speed.

I really think that there is a huge gap in the market now for the small, small-engined cheap town car.

The trouble is that although most pensioners will just use them for going to parish communion and the weekly shop at Morrison's, they might still occasionally use them to visit their cousin Doris fifty miles away or they  might live in a town with lots of fast ring roads, flyovers etc and they won't feel comfortable doing that in anything smaller than a standard production microcar. Old people feel the cold more as well so something like a Renault Twizy which is open to the elements probably wouldn't suit. 

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1 hour ago, Austin Allegro said:

 Old people feel the cold more as well so something like a Renault Twizy which is open to the elements probably wouldn't suit. 

Sir Stirling Moss had one with after market windows and Bilstein dampers.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/green-motoring/11275948/Sir-Stirling-Moss-and-his-souped-up-electric-car.html

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3 hours ago, Funn3r said:

I would really like a Lada Niva. Remember seeing some sort of 4x4 sporting event on telly and they had to get up a steep muddy hill. Range rovers and jeeps and so on all failed then the Lada went straight up! 

While the basic 3 door might be a bit small for most farmers needs, I thought the LWB high top or pick up iterations might find a ready market given the Land Rover Defender is now out of production...

ttn_115003170.jpg

ttn_115003175.jpg

ttn_115003176.jpg

573-5190-lada-niva-pickup-vis-23461.jpg

 

They even have a fancy one with uprated suspension and a new grille...

9679e64ab1e1fff833f75a7d66e00bb0.jpg

 

I think the original reason they stopped selling in the UK was emissions regs...they are now Euro 6 compliant, safety might be a bit of an issue though. Side impact beams and ABS/Stability control are now included...still no airbags tho!

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5 minutes ago, PatronizingGit said:

While the basic 3 door might be a bit small for most farmers needs, I thought the LWB high top or pick up iterations might find a ready market given the Land Rover Defender is now out of production...

ttn_115003170.jpg

ttn_115003175.jpg

ttn_115003176.jpg

573-5190-lada-niva-pickup-vis-23461.jpg

 

They even have a fancy one with uprated suspension and a new grille...

9679e64ab1e1fff833f75a7d66e00bb0.jpg

 

I think the original reason they stopped selling in the UK was emissions regs...they are now Euro 6 compliant, safety might be a bit of an issue though. Side impact beams and ABS/Stability control are now included...still no airbags tho!

And they couldn't justify building RHD for the numbers they would sell.

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