Bye Bye Ambassador- production of India’s oldest car suspended!

There’s great nostalgia about the Ambassador, the first car to be made in India. For many, it’s the first car their family ever bought.

Hindustan Motors have decided to stop the production of this vintage car due to weak demand and financing problems.

As of 25 May 2014, the Hindustan Motors has suspended the production of the Ambassador. The Amby, as it is affectionately called, has been in continuous production since its inception, with very few improvements or changes.

It has been in production since 1958 with few improvements or changes and is based on the Morris Oxford III model, first made by the Morris Motors Limited at Cowley, Oxford in the United Kingdom from 1956 to 1959.

Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is considered as a definitive Indian car and is fondly called “The king of Indian roads”

Ambassador Cars

Ambassador Cars

The automobile is manufactured by Hindustan Motors at its Uttarpara plant near Kolkata, West Bengal. Some prominent Indian politicians, such as Narendra Modi, use the Hindustan Ambassador

When the Birlas wanted a new model to replace their already old Hindustan models based on the Morris Oxford Series Il (Hindustan Landmaster), they scouted for the new Morris Oxford Series III. The car initially came with a side-valve engine but was later improved to an overhead-valve engine. Also the car at that point was quite an innovation with a fully enclosed monocoque chassis, which is why it is spacious inside.

Analysts are not optimistic about the car’s future.

“In the present shape I don’t think the Ambassador has got any chances of revival,” said Deepesh Rathore from research firm Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors.

“It doesn’t make any business sense,” he said.

There are 33,000 Ambassador Taxis in Kolkata alone, but the car is being superseded by more modern vehicles.

Sharanya Bharathwaj