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Old 3rd November 2011, 10:38   #46
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
HM just reported a loss of 20 odd crores for Q2 this year. Things are looking really bad, and the management doesn't seem to be doing anything about it!!
HM should really go down sooner than later. My uncle ( govt employee) just got a new ambassador for himself last year. This was the top most model ( not sure about the exact variant). I was shocked to see the quality of the interiors. It needs to be experienced and cannot be expressed in words. The plastics were just somehow hanging from there places. My uncle was smitten by the car because of its historical value and the current perks that come with the car ( read as park wherever you like and no nonsense from cops). But I don't see any reason why the Young India will want to buy this.

GTO sir what is your assessment of Mitsu's total lack of interest in our market? Its so disheartening to see it when everyone from VW to Ferrari are going ga ga about how the Indian market is one of the fastest growing and the huge potential they see in it. Mitsu has good products, a good reputation amongst the larger public, and just the plain fact that they still find buyers for the decade old Pajero should be reason enough to make them take the market seriously right?

Last edited by drmohitg : 3rd November 2011 at 10:39.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 12:23   #47
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

HM had the potential even sometime back. In manufacturing industry, it's all about long term planning/strategy - And this is where HM lacked, forget about execution.

A Lancer based Hatch could have solved the problem, if it was launched late 2000. Today things are completely different and very difficult to compete. They have to fix everything and not just few things.

Message to HM: Please sell your company to Hyundai or Volkswagen.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 15:47   #48
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

The blame for HM's present state can be pinned down wholely and solely to the Birla family scions who "try" to manage the business but actually do not do anything in reality.

HM had ample time and opportunity to initiate a lot of things but simply did not because Birla & Co just did not want to.

The promoters jolly well knew that one day or the other their car business will go bust due to the fiercely competitive nature of the automotive business and this is what is happening.
They will go on and on with the Amby - a car well past its "best before end date", trying to project it as a modern classic - which, let's face it it is not.

The traditional bastion of Government sales (Delhi as well as West Bengal) is also crumbling as our elected "babu's" now want something swankier and do not want to be seen in the Amby anymore.

Amby sales to the taxi loyalists of Kolkata is still trundling on but sales are definitely not the same as it was 10 years ago due to the entry of Tata Indigo Marina's in the radio cab segment.

HM could have done a lot.
In the mid eighties ISUZU offered HM to manufacture the ISUZU GEMINI under licence. Then a running model in Japan.
HM did not. Instead they went out and got the dies from Vauxhall of the ageing 1970's Vauxhall Victor which was being phased out anyways by Vauxhall, to make the Contessa (that too initially with the ancient Amby petrol engine !)

Then again, HM actually had a very good concept in the TREKKER. It can actually be termed as the country's first MUV - much before the Sumo, but instead of refining it and offering different variants with small / large engines and different bodystyles - it did nothing to push the sales of TREKKER.

Look at what they are doing with their Mitsubishi tech JV. Brilliant cars, a wonderful plant near Chennai - but the output is nothing to write home about.

Why doesn't people talk about the Lancer Cedia ?
Why do we hear only of the Honda City's , fluidic Verna's, Fiesta's in the 9-10 lakh segment.
The CEDIA is a very good car with brilliant performance to boot.
Do any car maker in India offer Momo steering wheel, OZ alloys , a smooth 2-litre petrol engine, a rally-bred chassis & suspension in their vehicles ? Not that i know of.
You think HM couldn't have turned the CEDIA into a success story - with a dedicated team, exclusive Mitsubishi dealers etc . Of course, they could have - they just dont have the will to do so!

Look at the HM plant in West Bengal. Logistically gifted. Two ports nearby - Kolkata & Haldia. An international airport at a stone's throw.
Well connected by NH network (its just off the Kolkata end of GQ by the way) but again no process, productivity or manufacturing improvements.

For years HM was happy with the sops being doled out to them by the Commie government of Bengal.
If i remember, one former transport minister even decreed that apart from Amby's no other vehicle will be allowed to be registered as taxi's in West Bengal !
The protectionist policy provided further buffer to an already somnolent HM. Now Mr Rip Van Winkle has woken up and trying to do things which it cannot.

Mr Santhanam tried. He tried very hard indeed but when it comes to sheer stubborness - in - not - changing - with - the - times, i guess HM's promoter family does not only take the cake , it eats it too, with the entire bakery.

I don't think the company's management even wants to sell the company as a "going concern" to any of the global or domestic OEM's.

It just wants the company to close down so that the huge plant and its associated land area can be sold off at a plum price to one of the top real estate companies of India for Mr Birla & Co to make several hundred , if not thousands, of crores in profit !

1985 ISUZU Gemini
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Old 3rd November 2011, 16:08   #49
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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GTO sir what is your assessment of Mitsu's total lack of interest in our market? Its so disheartening to see it when everyone from VW to Ferrari are going ga ga about how the Indian market is one of the fastest growing and the huge potential they see in it. Mitsu has good products, a good reputation amongst the larger public, and just the plain fact that they still find buyers for the decade old Pajero should be reason enough to make them take the market seriously right?
Mitsu are not really serious even in the U.S. I feel. You hardly see their ads in the newspapers. Most ads are from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW, the german big 3, chevy, ford. Of late I saw some Fiat/Crysler ads too. But hardly Mitsubishi.

Regarding HM, the only thing that they can do it make a Fiat 500 out of the Amby. Already Amby has a special place in our hearts. Making a modern retro style car out of it would do it wonders. It can really achieve what the Fiat 500 did to European markets.

Last edited by blue_pulsar : 3rd November 2011 at 16:15.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 16:20   #50
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

Wonder why no one talks of the Bullet, guess because it's still 'successful'. It's still a more than 75 years old model and is not as reliable as most modern machines, it's inefficient, heavy and unwieldy in city traffic and we don't have the arrow straight roads that's the home ground of this kinda bike; yet we buy them don't we. Ever wondered why HM is going into BIFR and Royal Enfield is going from strength to strength and also exporting its bike. May be I'm off topic here. The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run of any motorcycle having remained continuously in production since 1948.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 18:02   #51
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

Just one thing to say HM axed their own future .
They once ruled the market with the ambassador .
They again got significant numbers with the lancer. And then they sough of just gave up .
Never really bothered to do anything significant towards improving the automobile industry .
And their doom was inevitable . Even if the Indian government would step in and revive HM i dont think it would do them any good .
And i hope after the demise of HM , Mitsubishi can club with a good partner who would at least let us exploit the the amazing potential of Mitsubishi and its products .
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Old 3rd November 2011, 18:28   #52
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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Wonder why no one talks of the Bullet, guess because it's still 'successful'. It's still a more than 75 years old model and is not as reliable as most modern machines, it's inefficient, heavy and unwieldy in city traffic and we don't have the arrow straight roads that's the home ground of this kinda bike; yet we buy them don't we. Ever wondered why HM is going into BIFR and Royal Enfield is going from strength to strength and also exporting its bike. May be I'm off topic here. The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run of any motorcycle having remained continuously in production since 1948.
Interesting comparison. The only reason i can think of is that Bullet had absolutely no competition in the same category while Amby has only competetion . BTW - Royal Enfield should be credited to improve the bike somewhat although not so refined, still way better than the 80's bikes.

Amby too tried it - with the Ambassador Nova, but it was far too cosmetic to take effect.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 21:39   #53
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

Motorbikes have an emotional quotient that a standard family car cannot achieve. Bullets were never a mass commuter vehicle but always a niche product, therefore what was essentially drawbacks of the motorcycle became classic Bullet characteristics.

A car like the Amby was never a 'niche' product. It was simply a big underpowered car that in todays age provides absolutely no benefit over its more modern competition...sorry simply no other way to put it.

The owners knew that HM is heading towards doom and were willing to let it sink. Never in its history can you see a serious attempt at reviving the company or creating a great new product. I believe that the HM management simply want the company to close down and liquidate any valuable assets, especially the land where it stands.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 21:46   #54
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Interesting comparison. The only reason i can think of is that Bullet had absolutely no competition in the same category while Amby has only competetion . BTW - Royal Enfield should be credited to improve the bike somewhat although not so refined, still way better than the 80's bikes.

Amby too tried it - with the Ambassador Nova, but it was far too cosmetic to take effect.
On giving it a thought: Amby got worse with age whereas the Bullet got better with age due to constant improvements while keeping it's core character intact. I think the present Amby can't hold a candle to the mark 4 owned by my family for almost 30 years and was sold off in the early nineties.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 22:08   #55
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

Actually RE was going through a bad phase a few years ago & it was Siddharth Lal who pulled up the company & made it shine again.

But its not same as Ambassader, they introduced variants to the classic Bullet, chief among them was to have variants with gear & brake like the rest of the bikes, then bikes like Thunderbird & Machismo were introduced which were niche products. They introduced new engines like AVL ones. The recent Classic series is also done tastefully.

All in all they took the right steps to revive the brand, keep it alive & rocking. Nothing of that sort was done by Ambassador. I know they introduced engines & improved interiors but it was often too little too late.

Last edited by Technocrat : 8th December 2011 at 21:27.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 23:00   #56
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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It just wants the company to close down so that the huge plant and its associated land area can be sold off at a plum price to one of the top real estate companies of India for Mr Birla & Co to make several hundred , if not thousands, of crores in profit !
1985 ISUZU Gemini

HM is not selling enough vehicles to keep the assembly line going. Being in a union-friendly region, they can't afford to layoff workers easily. Thus they seem to be waiting for the day when the workers themselves give up and
and quit (due to no-work), so that the land can be sold for a bumper price.

Mitsubishi Motors has always been an 'also ran' company among the automakers. Their cars Lancer & Galant are mostly snapped up by fleet buyers in the US. Eclipse is the only one which does some decent numbers. Think they are only interested in a token presence but not in the numbers game. The conglomerate's other units like the Heavy Industries, Bank, Chemicals are the ones that bring in the moolah.
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Old 8th December 2011, 00:25   #57
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

Amby goes to Bangladesh!

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Intraco Motors struck a deal with Hindustan Motors Ltd to assemble the Indian company’s Ambassador cars in Bangladesh, officials said yesterday.

Intraco, known for its business in CNG conversion workshops, will spend $10 million to build an assembly plant in Savar, said Riyadh Ali, the company’s managing director.

The plant will be ready soon to assemble more than 5,000 cars in the next two years, Ali said in a press briefing at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka. The cars with steel body could run on CNG, petrol or diesel.

Intraco introduced two Ambassador cars in Dhaka: the first — priced at Tk 22.50 lakh — is air-conditioned with a 1,800cc engine to run on petrol or diesel. The second has a 1,500cc diesel-run engine with a price tag of Tk 13.50 lakh.

Hindustan Motors started production of Ambassador cars in 1948 from a factory in West Bengal. The first version of the car, built in 1942, was based on Morris Motor Co’s Morris Oxford model. The vehicle is now powered by engines made with Isuzu Motors technology, while the shape has remained almost unchanged for more than five decades.

Industries Minister Dilip Barua attended the event as the chief guest. Acting Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Bhattacharyya and Managing Director of Hindustan Motors Manoj Jha also spoke.

Source-Automobiles/Vehicles | Bangladesh Economic News
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Old 8th December 2011, 05:05   #58
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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Amby goes to Bangladesh!
5000 cars in two years which is much more that what HM sells in India in two years. But is the Amby that acceptable in Bangladesh? If so HM would get two more year's lease of life.

Last edited by rajeev k : 8th December 2011 at 05:07.
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Old 8th December 2011, 09:11   #59
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

As per my understanding HM was about to be reported to BIFR in 2009-2010. However they have reduced their losses in 2010-11 and shall not be reporting to BIFR.
This is a heart warming news for HM fans like me.

With Best Regards,
Abhijeet.
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Old 8th December 2011, 10:58   #60
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Default Re: Hindustan Motors sinking? To report to the BIFR

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As per my understanding HM was about to be reported to BIFR in 2009-2010. However they have reduced their losses in 2010-11 and shall not be reporting to BIFR.
This is a heart warming news for HM fans like me.

With Best Regards,
Abhijeet.
I guess this is more due to the non-payment of salaries for HM workers in their Uttarpara plant since July. Selling 100 odd cars a month is really a pathetic performance. The Birlas are just clinging on to this piece of junk (no offense) just to make some astronomical profits to be made on the prime land off NH2 ready for real estate development. The labor unions work hand in glove with the Birlas since they know they will get some cut on whatever firesale they organize of the plant whenever it shuts down.

I am sorry to say I am no fan of this car which has NOT seen any design update, is shoddily built and does more harm than good with the taxi segment causing mayhem taking advantage of the non-existent traffic rules and muscular build of the car. There is absolutely no comfort being seated in one either in the front seat or the rear. You will be rolling around in either one with the added danger of your face landing on the driver's crotch if you are in the front seat as there is no partition. It is difficult to extricate yourself from the rear seat which is very poorly designed, your feet will surely get stuck while getting down from the rear. I wish this clunker reached its death faster than it is doing now. All this is my personal opinion and I mean no offense to fans of this car.
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