Sixty years back, the word ‘car’ in India literally meant the Ambassador for most Indians. A lot has changed since then, with horde of automobile manufacturers active in the Indian market, sales figures for Hindustan Motors have hit an all time low 5,510 units in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.
Over the years, it has been the Indian political class that has been keeping Hindustan Motors rolling. The latest blow to Hindustan motors came from the Govt. of India itself, which replaced the Ambassador with cars like the Maruti SX4 and the Tata Indigo CS considering safety and performance issues.
The next-gen Ambassador will feature structural, aerodynamic and aesthetical chages. Changes on board the 2012 Ambassador include new engine calibrations, an anti-lock brake system and aluminium alloy wheels. For comfort, there will be new leather seats coupled with wood grain interiors. For the first time, there will also be an integrated music system and redesigned instrument cluster targetting the young generation buyers. Hindustan Motors will stick with the Ambassador’s traditional credentials of dependability, spaciousness and comfort.
“There are a whole lot of plans for the Ambassador. We are working on several options and the changes are part of the plan. While some smaller changes will be introduced soon, larger macro variations will be incorporated in due course,” says Manoj Jha, Managing Director, Hindustan Motors.
The last upgarde to the Ambassadorwas in 2004. Titled the Ambassador Avigo, the car drew influences from the Mini and the Porsche . It had retro hanging headlights and a classic clean plain front bonnet. The Avigo however failed to perform as a seller for Hindustan Motors and the upcoming 2012 Amassador is the company’s last chance at keeping India’s oldest car factory running.