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Old 30th May 2014, 21:01   #76
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

I remember a family friend, a wealthy one, driving up in a brand new Amby to my grandpa's home where we were on summer vacation. The year was 1970 and I was in class VI. We kids stood around it in wonder and a slightly older one hesitatingly asked the price. We were stunned by the price - Rs 25K or so, IIRC!

To put things in perspective, my dad's monthly salary was slightly south of Rs 500.00!

It is a relic, but I am sad to see it go all the same!
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Old 30th May 2014, 21:02   #77
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

How ridiculous of Times to link Vajpayeeji to the Amby's downfall, Times reports are sometimes so unidirectional and biased that it feels like an opinion blog, imagine Vajpayjee twisting to get out with those weak knees.

Forget the masses and the babus not placing their trust on the Amby, HM themselves were not convinced of their own product which is why they were hesitant to iron out its flaws, I read somewhere they were in full operational profit from 2000 on wards, why didn't they restructure their profits to build on the brand "Ambassador" and make it modern, retool the factory for modern products and hire fresh talent.

Fact is HM has a lousy management and they could not even handle the decent products Mitsubishi had to offer. They need young blood and modern thinking.
Even if they hire a bunch of guys from Team-BHP, we guys would do a better job at implementing fresh ideas than those there holding fort since 80's, jobs aren't just about paychecks isn't it, its has to strike a cord.

Ambassador in its current form is so outdated that even the earlier Tata Safari's are generations ahead. There are plenty completely Indian products that beat the Ambassador on home turf in almost every parameter so why then buy a car only on old memories.

Imagine Mahindra or Bullet selling the 60's jeep or bullet just based on emotions, Nokia still selling 3310 because it was most people's first phone.
Times changed, companies moved forward, embraced technologies, HM chose to stay back in time, its their fault.

In an earlier post I came across this attached image of the modern interpretation of Ambassador, imagine this actually built according to modern production standards, multi-link suspensions, perfect dash layout & ergonomics and crdi engines, I see no reason why people will not flock the showrooms unless they cover it in rubble or something.

HM could build on a iconic brand like Beetle or Jeep and this would be the cheapest aspirational car in the world, I am sure even at 10 Lakhs it would have takers world wide, of course it shouldn't be half hearted attempt.
Even Eicher rose up to the challenge when Bullet was looking down and retooled their factory and brought on board new thinkers.

That's something I respect about Mahindra, instead of just waiting for something to happen, they took it upon themselves under the able leadership of Anand, of course the space they are in, isn't as competitive as cars, but still.
I wish Tata could do something like that with the Sierra, someone takes up a challenge, only the brand name stays rest everything is new from scratch.

Change is constant, what doesn't adapt, don't survive, that's been the story for years.
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Old 31st May 2014, 20:39   #78
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Another link that says HM is looking for Chinese involvement restarting.


http://indianexpress.com/article/cit...-ambys-return/
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Old 1st June 2014, 09:50   #79
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Today's TOI features a full page about the retiring Amby and the views from some of the old timers. Moderator Rudra Sen and DBHPian anjan_c2007's views are presented:

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Old 1st June 2014, 13:12   #80
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Another down the memory lane by Dharamvir Saini:

Quote:
You don't buy an Ambassador only to sell it before its best-buy date. That's a thing for the newbies. The Ambassador, it's a keeper, because it gives you wings like no other old memory can.
Here is the link:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/35853746.cms

Anurag.

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Old 1st June 2014, 21:16   #81
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
Lots of people are quoting Mahindra Thar and Enfield Bullet. The point is, Bullet never had serious competition within India in the muscle-bike category, and is much, much cheaper than foreign brands. This is not to take away from what they have done, but they do offer something nobody else does. And Mahindra has many products -- the Bolero is much more important to them, they couldn't have stayed afloat on the Thar alone. What does Amby offer? Not performance, not comfort (sorry Amby apologists, it has terrible suspension and, in most cases, hard unsupportive seats), not fuel economy, not price. It used to be that "any roadside mechanic can repair the Amby" but now Maruti has gained that reputation, plus a new car doesn't even need much repair for years if you service it regularly. The only thing the Amby has is nostalgia. HM's mistake is not in taking the Amby lightly -- it is in taking the Amby too seriously, thinking its long-standing "official car" status is enough, not trying to develop other products (other than the poorly-managed Mitsubishi partnership). Well, there was the Contessa, I guess -- another piece of outdated technology.

A modernised Amby may have survived somehow, but the Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500, etc did quite poorly in India -- a 21st-century Amby along those lines would have needed to offer compelling value at a compelling price.

The only hope is that another manufacturer buys the rights to the name and introduces new models, as happened with Rolls Royce.

MM is a company, So is Enfield as is the case with Maruti or HM for that matter.

Bolero, the various bullets, the fury, the explorer, the silverplus, contessa are all products.

When the Indojaps came in they Killed most of the products, both 4 and 2 wheels. Ind-Suzuki, RX100, ( RD-350 completly is on a different leauge), the Maruti 800, the omni and the gypsy. This was when the Roadkings and the bullets ruled the road. so did the TVS 50.. still there.

There is a reason friends compare the HMs amby to MMs bolero or other products.

The back seat comfort of the most mordern bolero, might be a little better than a 72 amby.

HM dint wake up. The Amby survived all these years on for what it was.

And the bullet almost died. If it is today alive and thumping it is because someone took it up.

Bullet sells not just because what it was, but because what it is today.

Hope someone buys the brand and does a bullet on it. Then I guess we will have a huge wave of wannabe amby owners
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Old 2nd June 2014, 14:31   #82
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

VERY OBVIOUSLY, I JUST LOVE THE AMBY !!

MY DAD HAD A LOVELY MARK I 'MYV 9919' IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES !

has anyone spotted her lately? please let me know - I'd be grateful !

Pictures of the plant where Ambassadors are made:

& Since CM K Chandrashekar Rao's TRS Party symbol is 'Ambassador' , can the Nation's newest state , Telangana, continue to make Ambassadors, in a place where industries are scarce , and with some excise or sales tax exemptions ?? : )
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Old 2nd June 2014, 14:45   #83
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Yes , definitely the end of road for the "iconic" car. I think they had it coming. For a company that did not keep up with technology , competition and for those who did not bother introducing more products from their factory , they definitely had it coming. I feel sorry for their employees who will loose jobs , but there is very little what anyone else can do.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 16:08   #84
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Its definitely the end of the road for one of the oldest Indian icon on wheels.

However lack to R&D and vision have been the primary cause rather than the product itself.

Fiat/VW/BMW even after years of ageing kept their products (500, Beetle, Mini) alive by keeping them up-to-date with modern times, however Amby was solely dependent on Govt. sales.

They could have taken a fresh paper and redesigned it in entirely new avatar (keep the curves though), give it a fresh look, load it with modern interiors & features, give it a new power-plant and slick transmission (even better if AT) and launch it in various avatars, including a sub 4 meter hatchback (aka Mini Cooper), a compact SUV, a flaired sedan and maybe a nice pickup and they could have the vintage wheels rolling with the times in style.

However its too late for the same, now we can only bid our farewell to the granny.
RIP Amby !
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Old 2nd June 2014, 19:38   #85
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

..... Ambassador, the rest are engines, the Ambassador is a car.”

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-e...cle6062592.ece
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Old 2nd June 2014, 20:33   #86
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Head View Post
Fiat/VW/BMW even after years of ageing kept their products (500, Beetle, Mini) alive by keeping them up-to-date with modern times,
All three are new products on new platforms with old names, introduced after a gap of many years/decades, not a continuous evolution of the old products. And the Mini wasn't even a BMW car originally. I can't think of a car that has been in continuous production on the same platform for as long as the Ambassador has. Except the original Beetle, which was not kept particularly up-to-date and was manufactured in Germany only until 1978 (but production in Mexico continued until 2003, so it beats the Ambassador. Globally the old and new Beetles coexisted for some years, but in Germany the gap between the two cars was nearly two decades.)
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Old 2nd June 2014, 22:33   #87
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Perhaps this says it like it is ....
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Old 2nd June 2014, 23:34   #88
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

A small note.
The thumbnail for this thread on the "Hot Threads" page shows Rudra Sen's Ambassador. Given that Rudra Sen is one of the biggest worshippers of the good old ambassador, the thumbnail choice is a bit wrong I guess. Especially this being the Amby Obituary thread.

No offence meant to anyone.

Ref: Facebook -
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
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Old 3rd June 2014, 11:56   #89
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Unhappy Love for Hindustan Motors! The name itself speaks a ton.

I believe, advises/suggestions are the easiest things to do in this world. Still, my 2 cents into this topic of discussion.
Please bring back the good old "Mustang of India", "THE" HM CONTESSA to life, with a prospective design (unlike the fancy, W&W mods) and see the brand unfold to its supremacy over its contemporaries!
RE had a similar downfall during a specific period, but it pounced back to all its glory within no time. This is very well possible with our HM as well!
#ContessaLover!
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Old 4th June 2014, 19:59   #90
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Default Re: End of the road for the HM Ambassador?

Some more updates on this topic:

http://www.cartrade.com/car-bike-new...es-124043.html

The workers numbering 2600 permanent and 50 contractual were paid a part of their total dues by HM.

During its heydays in the 1970's and early 80's, HM employed 14,000 workers. There was no concept of "contractual" workers" then.

Quote:

Statement from the HM spokesperson “The company accumulated outstanding liabilities amounting to Rs 94 crore comprising sales tax and other tax dues, salary and wages, electricity bills, land revenue, and bank liabilities. The company has sought the state government's help in enabling the closure on the forge and foundry divestment which requires some approvals from a consortium of lenders which, in turn, will enable it to clear back log on overdue wages. For the Uttarpara unit we are in look out for strategic investors.
The last line is important as feeble indications are that the C.K. Birla Group wants to exit.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 4th June 2014 at 20:05.
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