Hindustan Motors, a well established pre-independence company has recently suspended the manufacturing of "The Grand Old Lady". The company decided to shut down the Uttarpara operations unit, outside Kolkata, West Bengal until further notice. The company started manufacturing this car in 1957.
According to the paper quoted India's leading auto designer Dilip Chhabria, "Had HM (Hindustan Motors) continued to evolve the Amby over the past 60 years without changing the DNA, it would have been the Rolls Royce of India."
The "Ambassador" modeled after British long-defunt Morris Oxford, being the first choice of politicians, public transport and senior government officials, especially in New Delhi, ruled over Indian roads for more than 60 years. It was being used by bureaucrats with a red beacon on top and a chauffeur at the wheel and when it is used as a taxi, it was painted with a combination of black and yellow or only yellow.
As said by company official on Sunday, "The maker of India's Ambassador car has suspended production, citing debt and lack of demand for the iconic vehicle which came to define the country's political class."
The company officials said in a statement, "Work has been suspended indefinitely at the Uttarpara factory. It is being done to ensure the company doesn't bleed more (money) and to enable us to draw plans for its revival."
In a statement made by company's senior official to Bombay Stock Exchange, "worsening conditions at its Uttarpara plant which include very low productivity, growing indiscipline, critical shortage of funds, lack of demand for its core product the Ambassador and large accumulation of liabilities."
India's oldest car "Amby" or "Ambassador" was one of the most easily recognizable muscle car over the Indian roads and after being suspended its manufacturing by Hindustan Motors, it is highly predictable that it would be very difficult for the Ambassador to come back to Indian roads again.