The classic Tata Sumo started road tripping as a comfortable and rugged work horse back in 1994 and shone brightly in Tata’s lineup during its reign. Even though the company hasn’t issued any official word, the car has been discontinued from the company’s dealerships across the country after production of the same came to a halt in April this year.
The Tata Sumo’s fate didn’t come as a surprise, given that the car is based on a design which is too archaic to be made compatible with latest safety standards without complete re-engineering. The boxy SUV spent the last several years neglected by buyers; hence, the automaker is not inclined towards investing time and money to keep it alive. Known for its ride quality and go-anywhere appeal, the Sumo received a successor in 2008 in the form of Sumo Grande with completely new exterior and interior. However, the Grande failed to take off and eventually retired in 2016.
Then came in the Sumo Gold, which was again underpinned by an outdated ladder frame chassis; it also didn’t have dual airbags, anti-lock braking system, seat-belt reminder, speed alert system and reverse parking sensor as mandated by the government, and hence had to go out of production. Moreover, Sumo Gold’s ageing 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine didn’t make it to the the list of motors that the automaker will upgrade to BS-VI emission standards. From all sides and angles, it is definitely the end of the road for the good old Sumo in its current guise. Given that the nameplate has a reasonably strong brand recall, we could be seeing it on a modern SUV offering in the future.