The Downfall of the iconic Indian Ambassador

Hindustan Motors Limited was the pioneer automobile manufacturing company of India. They got the license to produce the India’s most iconic cars in 1954- the Ambassador. Ambassador or Amby, as they were fondly called, were launched in 1957 and continued to be in production till 2014 in their Uttarpara plant in West Bengal.

It was an emblem of high status to own this royal vehicle with its comfortable seating, strong infrastructure and insinuation of luxury and safety. Ambassadors, the first diesel cars of India, were once exclusively owned by the rich, actors, civil servants, and the politicians. The car simply connoted class.

After the launch of Maruti- Suzuki 800 in 1983 and the continued coming of new age cars, Ambassadors faced a steady decline. Indians had more options in terms of style, size and the stamp of international brands. Ambassadors had anyways suffered from the disadvantage of its longevity. They had to be taken to repair shops to be reinforced for their lives ahead and were tiring to be driven. Despite everything, government officials and local taxis still tried to be loyal to the once beloved Amby. Even though a few customizations were offered, the demand never really picked for Ambassadors.


The globally popular program Top Gear voted the Ambassador to be the world’s best taxi in 2013, the same year when Hindustan Motors sold almost 2,200 Ambassadors.


In 2014 however, the company discontinued its production because of less demand of the vehicle and company’s weak financial status. Hindustan Motors announced on 10th February 2017, that the Ambassador has been sold to French automaker Peugeot SA for Rs 80 crore, including the trademarks and certain related rights.


he Ambassador was a classic. It will always remain with us Indians. Considered as the car of India, Amby will always be talked about with warm memories for generations to come.

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