Iconic Indian car brand Hindustan Motors is being sold to French carmaker Peugeot. Ambassador, the car carried many government officials and even the common man until the recent times. The C K Birla Group made the deal for Rs 80 crore on Friday. The production of new Ambassador Cars had been stopped around three years ago.
“We have executed an agreement with the Peugeot SA Group for the sale of the brand Ambassador, including the trademarks. We intend to use the proceeds from the sale to clear dues of employees and lenders,” a CK Birla Group spokesperson said.
Ambassador wasn’t just a car for those who grew up in the 1960s and 70s. The bond with the car is inseparable with India’s urban life style then. The spacious sedan was the preferred choice for many Indians in an era of limited choices. The pricing of the car is also a factor to manage to be in reach of many. Ambassador recalls memories of their fonder and younger days for many and stands as a marker of innocent India.
As of now, it is not clear that if Peugeot will use the brand Ambassador for its car production in India. The car was introduced when Hindustan Motors launched the Morris Oxford with minor changes to Landmaster. Launched seven decades ago, Ambassador has quickly become a national icon and dominated Indian roads till the 1980s. Later, Maruti 800 took the lead and exposed Ambassador Inadequacies.
Hindustan Motors have observed a downfall in sales over the time from 24,000 units to less than 2,500 units a year. The inevitable thing took place on May 24, 2014, work was suspended at the Uttarpara Plant.
Last year, Peugeot Citroen announced its plans to re-enter India by 2018. The French carmaker had a three-year presence in the mid-1990s in India when the Peugeot 309 was sold by PAL.