Ambassador production stopped temporarily

Written by Car Dekho | Updated: May 29 2014, 21:28pm hrs
AMBASSAmbassador was a choice of govt employees and politicians but later on it was dethroned by Maruti Esteem etc.
The iconic Indian car brand, Hindustan Motors has temporarily closed its production facility at Uttarpara, West Bengal. Since 1957, this facility has been producing Ambassador. HM Ambassador is based on UKs Morris Oxford II and has been the traditional automotive love for almost 6 decades. However, its out-dated looks have somewhat separated it from the current sedans. Earlier during the 60s and 70s, HM Ambassador was considered as a symbol of luxury and honor but the arrival of cars like Premier Padmini (Fiat 1100) and Maruti 800 hampered its sales in the Indian car market. Till late 90s, HM Ambassador was a proud choice of government employees and politicians in India but later on it was dethroned by cars like Maruti Esteem and Tata Safari.

In past 60 years, Ambassador has received several changes. Since early 90, Isuzu the quintessential engine maker has been powering the Ambassador cars. It were the Isuzu power-trains that enabled this car to compete with vehicles like Maruti 800 and Premier Padmini. The production of Ambassador was at its heights during the 80s and the car maker used to produce 24,000 cars yearly which later-on declined to just 6000 units annually in 2000. Currently, Ambassador manufacturing facility in WB produces mere 5 cars a day and is undergoing huge losses and debts. Disappointed with the failure, the car maker has temporarily stopped the manufacturing of this car at its facility until it decides the future of Ambassador.

In mid 2004, Hindustan Motors introduced a contemporary version of the Ambassador with design inspired from Mini Cooper; the version was named Avigo. The Avigo was cosmetically much adorable compared to its predecessor and its front was highlighted by a unique grille, a fresh bonnet and angular headlights. Moreover, its rear looked much alike the initial Landmaster Series. Even the interiors were gracefully improved with light brown leather upholstery, central instrumentation cluster and a center console that hosted Air-conditioning, Power steering and Power windows. The Avigo was phased out by the car maker in 2010.

Last year, the car maker Ambassador

but this too could not bring the fruitful results for the car maker. The company is going through a tough phase at present and to pay the debts it earlier tried to sell its Chennai manufacturing facility to Mitsubishi Motors for Rs. 150 crores. Unfortunately, the deal could not succeed and finally the plant was acquired by a separate entity Hindustan Motors Finance Corporation. Other than the Ambassador, the company also had Indias first luxury car, the Contessa in its portfolio. It was the first Indian car to host set of features like AC, Power Steering, Power Windows etc. This car ruled the hearts of Indian enthusiasts between 1984 2002 and was quite successful like its sibling Ambassador, however the arrival of new cars brought its end. Currently, there is a big question mark about the future of Hindustan Motors and it is quite unpredictable what next product the company may plan to introduce in the Indian car market.

The lack of strategies by the car maker is one of the biggest reasons of its downfall in the Indian sub-continent. Maruti and Fiat are the brands introduced later in the Indian car market, but they modernized themselves with time and are still expanding themselves. HM could have introduced other cars in parallel rather than solely depending on the Ambassador.

HM has a joint venture with Japanese car manufacturer, Mitsubishi that started in year 1998. Its been around 17 years now since the company has been selling Mitsubishi cars. Mitsubishi Motors is no doubt one of the best car makers globally, but it too has been struggling to find its way in the Indian subcontinent. At present, Mitsubishi Motors sells two SUVs in the Indian car market that is Pajero Sport and Montero.