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The world has lost a legendary car

The Ambassador gets the axe

26/05/2014 11:55 | Comments: 

A beginner bursting with enthusiasm, happy to learn the tricks of the trade from the greats of Hungarian automotive journalism. Doesn’t own a car yet, which makes him a queer fish at the office. A curious all-round talent who also blogs about New York and the Middle-East.

Hindustan Motors stops the production of the iconic Ambassador more than 50 years after its launch.

The Calcutta-based brand rooted in colonial India has stopped the production of its compact car due to a lack of demand.

Hindustan Motors was founded in 1942, a little before colonial India became independent. The cars of the company have always shown signs of British influence; the Ambassador, for instance, was clearly based on the third generation Morris Oxford.

Although several generations of the model have seen the light of day through the years, little technological and design changes have been made to the Ambassador since its 1958 launch. India loved it; it is still the vehicle of choice of 33 thousand taxi drivers in Calcutta alone. The demand for the classic has dramatically decreased in the past couple of years, though, with only 2200 sold last year – a critical flop on a one billion market, leaving Hindustan motors no other choice than to stop the production thereof for good.

Shortage of funds and low productivity of the Uttarpara factory have also played a major role in making the decision. Fans of the Ambassador may still hope for a re-launch at some time in the future, though, with Hindustan Motors hinting that production may continue once the company’s financial problems have been solved.

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