Production Suspended on the Hindustan Ambassador
The Hindustan Ambassador nameplate might not evoke thoughts of luxury and opulence for you, but it certainly has in the minds of Indians for well over 60 years. However, the plucky Ambassador, colloquially known in India as the “Amby”, may have finally met its match. The factory that produces the Ambassador has abruptly suspended production due to high debts and slumping sales. Last year, the company only sold 2,214 vehicles – a steep downturn from sales in the 1980s that regularly met 24,000 vehicles a year. The reason behind the slump? Aside from being a 66 year-old car, the Ambassador’s large size and unimpressive fuel economy figures couldn’t be further from what Indian car buyers are looking for. Fox News reports that nearly 80 percent of cars sold in India today are small city-cars with relatively low operating costs. RELATED: Check out this 1960 Fiat 600 Multipla Taxi
Hindustan began building the Ambassador in 1948, cut from the same cloth as Britain’s Morris Oxford sedan. It became a popular choice of government and taxi fleets for decades, offering a proud and nostalgic look into the country’s past. The company hallmarks the vehicle’s sturdiness and durability as strong selling points over the vehicle’s long life cycle, offering buyers a 1.5-liter diesel, 1.8-liter engine (gas, natural gas, and propane), as well as a 2.0-liter diesel.
The plant’s indefinite production suspension will cut the salaries of nearly 2,500 employees in the wake of its mounting debts, however plans to reopen the plant and continue production of the Winner mini-truck series will follow through upon new investments in the company.
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