The Tata Indica is a hatchback automobile range manufactured by Tata Motors of India. The models have also been exported to Europe, Africa and other countries since late in 2004. It is the first passenger car vehicle from Tata Motors. The Tata Indica is also considered India’s first indigenously developed passenger car. As of August 2008[update], more than 910,000 Indicas were produced. The annual sales of Indica has been as high as 144,690 units in 2006-07 . Current[update] monthly sales of Indica is around 8000 units.
In the UK a badge engineered version was imported by the MG Rover Group and sold as the Rover CityRover. Other popular foreign markets include South Africa where the Indica and the Indicab models (known as B Line) are sold.
On 30 December 1998, Tata Motors (previously called TELCO) introduced the most modern car ever to be designed by an Indian company: the Indica. Marketed with slogans like “The Big… Small Car” and “More car per car,” the ad campaign focused on roomy interiors and affordability. Within a week of its unveiling in 1999, the company received 115,000 bookings. In two years, the Indica became the number one car in its segment.
Partly designed and developed by Tata Motors, it is a five-door compact hatchback with a 1.4 L petrol/diesel I4 engine designated as 475DL internally. This is a homegrown engine which is derived from the engine used by Tata in their line of pickups and SUVs earlier but with a reduced stroke. The original engine was designated as 483DL which stood for 4 cylinder and 83 mm stroke.
The Indica offered options like air conditioning and electric windows, which were previously restricted to only upmarket imported cars in India. Three years later the Indica was exported to European markets for the first time, and from 2003 the Indica was badge engineered and sold in the UK as the Rover CityRover. This vehicle ceased production in April 2005 when MG Rover went bankrupt, and did not resume production when new owners Nanjing Automobile launched its own versions of the MG Rover range in 2007.
The outer body styling was done by Italian design house I.DE.A Institute, under contract from Tata Motors, with heavy interaction with Tata’s in-house design team. The engine, however, was indigenous.
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