Premier Ltd. (Formerly The Premier Automobiles Limited) is a Pune-based manufacturer of vehicles.
Founded in 1944, the car first launched production by building vehicles under license from Dodge and Plymouth. In 1951, they began producing versions of the Fiat 500 for the Indian market. This was followed by the Fiat 1100 in 1954. In 1973, the Premier name was used on their vehicles for the first time, the Premier President, based on the Fiat 1100 as Premier Padmini. In 1978, they launched the Fiat 124-based Premier 118 and 138D models. In 2000, they launched production, under license from Taiwan's China Motor Corporation, of the Premier Sigma and Roadster vans and pick-ups.
Premier also made a licensed version of the Fiat 1100 which later continued almost unchanged into the late 1990s as the Premier Padmini with a 40 hp (30 kW) 1100 cc engine. Later models included the Premier 118NE (named after its 1180 cc Nissan A engine and transmission from the Nissan Cherry), a version of the 1960s Fiat 124, considered a luxury car in India till the influx of modern cars in the 1990s.
With market liberalisation Premier tied up with Peugeot to build the Peugeot 309 in India.
In November 2004 Premier restarted operations by building a small diesel powered van called the Sigma. It is based on an old 1980s Mitsubishi Varica design licenced from China Motor in Taiwan, with the Peugeot engine from the 309.
In October 2009 Premier re-entered the Indian passenger vehicle market with a compact SUV named RiO design licenced from Zotye in China.