In a move to improve the personal protection of government officials, the fleet of familiar white Ambassador cars used for transporting them will soon be replaced by armour plated Tata Safaris, according to agency reports quoting official sources.
Midhani, a defence undertaking in Hyderabad, which manufactures armour plates for tanks and military vehicles are making available the armour plates needed for making Tata Safaris critical body parts, the report added. Finished parts will be delivered to the vehicle manufacturer for assembly, the sources said.
When contacted, a Hindustan Motors spokesperson said, All government functionaries are not entitled to bullet-proofing. Even if a certain proportion shifts to Safaris, it would not impact Ambassador volumes.
Around 16-18 per cent of Ambassador sales come from government sources.
This is not a major issue. Some officials might want to shift to a different comfort level, added the spokesperson.
Tata Engineering is now in the process of sprucing up the Safari to take on challenge in the form of Mahindra Scorpio and Toyota Qualis.
The company is working on a two-litre petrol engine model which will be launched early next year. Besides, Telco is working on a premium-end variant of the Safari, the details of which are currently under wraps. We have seen a 36 per cent growth in the current fiscal in Safari sales. There has been no fall in marketshare on account of competition, company sources added.