Hindustan Motors Ambassador
HM decides to increase sales of their age old classic model – Ambassador in the country. They are planning to sell 12,500 units this year with the introduction of their new fuel efficient engine. This engine will be compliant with the Bharat Stage 2 & 3 emission norms. It’s probably delivering the mileage of 16 km/l against a 11 km/l mileage from the existing diesel engine.
Hindustan Motors plans to invest Rs 6 crores in upgrading engines to build them BS-3 compliant.The number of changes will be made on the new model. HM also has introduced the buy-back scheme where buyers can exchange their old models of Ambassador with the new one at the discount of Rs 35K.
HM’s 50-years old model is presently being made by the industry in Uttarpara, Kolkata. This model is available as 1.5L CNG and petrol version and 2L diesel engine variants. Currently, the car has majority sales in Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It has the 110 dealers across India. Elegance & Economy
Unmatched space, comfort, safety and sturdiness
Once the uncrowned king of Indian roads, the Ambassador has been relegated to the ranks of also-rans by the new brigade of Japanese, Korean, European and American cars. Its makers, Hindustan Motors, have been making valiant attempts to re-invent the car as aContemporary classic, much in the mould of Enfield (Bullet) motorcycles, but have been much less successful in their efforts.
I have seen by their sales figures that they still manage to sell a couple of thousand cars a year even today. Beats me why anyone would want an AMBY, except for old times’ sake. When I was growing up, it was the car to own, since it was cheaper to maintain than a Fiat, had a better turning radius (5.4m), could go anywhere, could carry more people and luggage and last, but not the least, could be repaired even by a roadside dabbah-wallah! No one had heard of regular servicing, bu the car did get it anyway, since you had to take it for tinkering and patching at least once in 2 years in the wet Kerala climate!
The car went through a few ’’modifications’’ in the seventies and eighties, which saw the Marks II, III and IV roll out of the factories. Each succeeding model had lesser quantities of chrome, wider grilles and thinner metal in their bodies, and that was it! The engines too required frequent maintenance, and HM’s policy of not making any changes in a seller’s market spelled doom for the company as soon as other cars became available.
That said, the AMBY has a few advantages that are still not found in many new generation cars. It was the original Tall boy, with a height of 1593mm, before the Santro claimed it though it was 3mm shorter! Only the Mercedes Benz offers better leg room both in the front and the back. It is still the go anywhere, do anything kind of car, and the newer engines and brakes have gone a long way in ensuring that the cars can be run safely. Where it falls flat is in the quality of body building. If only they would use better metal and processing so that the cars dont rust away in a couple of years, HM would still be able to give their competitors a run for their money.
If they want to go the Classic route, they should stick to the shape of the original Landmaster, which may induce people to fork up their hard earned moolah for the sake of owning a ’’New Landmaster’’
This is less of a review and more of an epitaph for a car that once moved millions across India! Hindustan Motors is an automobile manufacturer of India. It is a art of the Birla group of Industries. The company was the largest car manufacturer before the rise of Maruti Udyog (MUL). It makes the famous Ambassador car wiely used as a taxicab and government’s limousine. It has been plying the Indian roads since 1948, the only car to do so for 6 decades. Until 1980’s Ambassador and Padmini were the only cars available. Ambassador...