The car that ruled the roads and depicted the symbol of wealth and power for more than half a century in India, has reached its dead-end. The production of the Ambassador has been brought to a halt by Hindustan Motors. The reason behind this suspension is said to be the lack of demand for this iconic vehicle which once defined the political class of the country.
Hindustan Motors, India’s oldest car manufacturing company, shut down its factory on the 24th of May, 2014, at Uttarpara in West Bengal, where it had been making the ambassador- based on Britain’s long-defunct Morris Oxford- since 1957. The production has been suspended to ensure that the company need not spend any more money in making plans for the revival of the car. The major reasons for the suspension have been ‘very low productivity, critical shortage of funds, lack of demand for its core product and a large accumulation of liabilities’.
The design of the curve shaped car which once was most preferred by the elite class had hardly changed in the last sixty years. This is being considered as one of the major reasons for the car’s decrease in demand. Although, most bureaucrats and political brass prefer SUVs and other modern cars over the ambassador, the car is still famous among the taxi drivers. The automobile market of the country which once bloomed has seen a down fall in recent years as the economy grew by less than five percent in the last decade. The slumpy growth of the economy has deterred many new customers from entering this market. The company was churning out a mere five cars a day with the demand being decreased from 24,000 cars in 1980 to less than 600 cars in the 2000s.
With no drastic changes made by the Hindustan Motors to evolve the ambassador, the grand old lady certainly, grew too old to continue its journey on road.
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