Hindustan Motors halted the production of India’s iconic car Ambassador on 25 May 2014. The Ambassador was the first car to be made in India.
Hindustan Motors suspended work at its Uttarpara plant outside of Kolkata because of weak demand, very low productivity, growing indiscipline, large liabilities and lack of funds.
The car, affectionately called Amby, was modelled on the lines of Britain's Morris Oxford III, first made by the Morris Motors Limited at Cowley, Oxford in the United Kingdom from 1956 to 1959.
However, in 1957, Morris Oxford became defunct and shifted all the tooling of Morris Oxford III to India which was renamed as Ambassador. The series production of it started in 1958.
In 2003 Ambassador was chosen as the world’s best taxi on 20 July 2014 at the Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear motorsport show (BBC's popular Top Gear television show).
The decline of Ambassador
Once the pride of Indian roads, however, it started losing its dominance since mid-1980s with the introduction of low-priced Maruti 800 by Maruti Suzuki. The Ambassador further lost its market share in India with the opening of Indian economy in 1990s.
But the biggest setback it received was in 2003. In 2003, Prime Minister of India’s fleet was replaced from Ambassador to German made BMWs.
But the biggest reason for its decline was not bringing any change in the model in last 60 years.
About Hindustan Motors
Hindustan Motors Limited (HM) was established in 1942 by B.M. Birla in Port Okha near Gujarat.
In 1948, Hindustan Motors shifted its assembly plant from Port Okha in Gujarat to Uttarpara in West Bengal's Hooghly district.
Hindustan Motors pioneered the automobile manufacturing in India and is Flagship Company of the C.K. Birla Group.
It manufactured Ambassador and Contessa cars and utility vehicles like the Trekker, Porter and Pushpak.
Hindustan Motors is the only manufacturing facility in the world to manufacture parts for Bedford trucks currently.
Who: Hindustan Motors
When: 25 May 2014