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Old 2nd July 2015, 15:37   #31
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

Closer home we have two factories - Daewoo near Delhi and Hindustan Motors near Calcutta. Incidentally I have been inside both. Despite being a Calcuttan I feel more sad for the Daewoo factory because it was a thriving modern factory when I saw it. Hindustan Motors was bleeding for a very long time.
I do not have pics of either of them.
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Old 3rd July 2015, 23:51   #32
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Originally Posted by low_rider View Post
I am not sure if the Premier factory in Mumbai would classify as "Abandoned". It was also closed down and sold off to a leading real estate company in Mumbai by the name HDIL. They have built apartments on it. Most of them are sold and some still under construction.
On a similar note, there's a Premier factory located near Dombivali too. Is it the same one you are talking about?
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Old 4th July 2015, 15:03   #33
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

The Premier factory that I mentioned is in Kurla west. The Apartments are also named HDIL-Premier.
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Old 5th July 2015, 16:11   #34
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

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Originally Posted by shashanka View Post
It also refreshed memories of guilty mid-morning visits to the Lucknow British Council Library on the first floor of the old Mayfair Cinema building in Hazratganj (guilty because we bunked classes from nearby Christ Church College). And once inside the Library, quickly grab the current issue of the Illustrated London News (long since defunct) and very surreptitiously cut out the centre-spread. This particular edition's motoring section, as we had found out earlier, featured the original Maserati Ghibli, a sublime design penned by the immortal Giorgetto Giugiaro in the early sixties when he was still with Ghia, before setting up Italdesign.
Loved your post!

Was this Packard Clipper a '46-'48?

A couple of them did survive in Lucknow. Lovely cars- and MUCH better than comparable Rolls Royces, IMO.
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Old 5th July 2015, 17:42   #35
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

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Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
Loved your post!

Was this Packard Clipper a '46-'48?

A couple of them did survive in Lucknow. Lovely cars- and MUCH better than comparable Rolls Royces, IMO.

Thank you FINTAIL,
I was too young at the time, but with later inputs I know now that the Packard was most likely a '48 model Clipper. It had the humped whale-like derrière much loved by later Phantoms !
But I agree that the Packard had a time-less elegance and was ahead of its time. Incidentally, are you too from Lucknow?
Thanks and regards,
Shashanka
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Old 5th July 2015, 20:46   #36
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But I agree that the Packard had a time-less elegance and was ahead of its time. Incidentally, are you too from Lucknow?
Thanks and regards,
Shashanka
My grandfather recalls Lucknow very well.

He did live there for a while; in the late 'Fifties. He was a student at ISM Dhanbad, back then.

Me- I've been to Lucknow a couple of times. I happen to follow the V&C scene very closely, hence happened to recall that a couple of Packard Clippers, 1946-48 model years- no less, happen to survive in Lucknow.

Oh yeah; my uncle (ex De Nobili, Dhanbad- followed by IIT-D and IIT-K) also recalls Lucknow very well. Whenever we meet, we always have a debate.


Where exactly did the USJ registration originate from?


I insist that it is Lucknow- whereas he insists that USJ was Kanpur, 1955-56.

So, at the wedding of a certain influential relative's son, I just noticed that the baraat car happened to be a 1947 Buick Eight, no less. USJ registered.

Promptly, opened up the glovebox and looked up the RC. It said, Lucknow- 1955ish. Showed the RC to my uncle. He lost this debate.

All this was in 2010-11 though. We still debate on this trivial topic, for old times sake. Love the Lucknow-Kanpur area, for some reason.

And that, dear sir, was my humble Lucknow connection. I live in Poona though.

_____________________________________

P.S: Was the Packard a four door? Or was it a coupe?

Last edited by FINTAIL : 5th July 2015 at 20:48.
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Old 5th July 2015, 23:29   #37
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Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post

When one looks into why such factories closed, following lessons are evident:
  1. Failure to read the changing customer expectations or denial of changing market situation
  2. Disputes or politics among the owners / top managers
  3. Bold business plan with hidden risk and abscence of plan B
  4. Owner's / Management's failure to maintain balance in what investors, vendors, employees and customers get from the company.

[/u]
Earlier in life I had a special interest in Packard, as my father had driven a 1939 model 120 coupe - originally owned by an engineer uncle - in high school in the beginning of the 1960's. As kids, we grew up playing in it / pretending to drive as it slowly sunk into the dirt floor of my grandfather's garage. It was patiently awaiting a restoration when, due to various family relocations and lack of time, it was sadly sold off sometime in the early 2000's, amazingly via e-bay (and not surprisingly, never heard from again).

Anyway, most analyses in Packard's case suggest that the company's mistake was actually NOT in "failing to recognize changing customer expectations", but (quite ironically in view of point 1 above) rather in assuming that their market had changed (after some painful years of 1930's "Great Depression"), when in reality it probably had not. Will explain here briefly:

Prior to the mid/late 1930's, Packard had never produced anything but relatively lower-volume, higher-end motor cars for the relatively (or extremely) well-off. "Ask the Man Who Owns One" was for years the sales slogan, and seemed to subtly suggest that such a man was a bit distinguished / rare / exclusive himself. In view of the 1930's economic crisis, it was decided that production of something cheaper should be undertaken, hence the introduction of the 110/120-series. Still great cars of high quality and classic styling, but truly not in the same league as the excessive, opulent, world-class V-12's, etc, which had found ample place in the stables of more than one Indian maharaja and various other royalty / heads-of-state.

As expected, the less-costly new cars sold in much higher volume than Packard had ever managed previously. Trouble is that 1) at the price point, they were entering a much more competitive market, especially as the economy picked up post-WWII;

And more than anything: 2) the exclusivity and image the brand (and its traditional buyers) had always enjoyed was lost, and thus the marque became uninteresting to the luxury buyers who had made the company prosperous and famous in the first place. Most of these in time probably turned mostly to Lincoln and Cadillac, whose managers had wisely chosen to keep those divisions (of Ford/GM respectively) wholly upscale.

All this to say that Packard probably misread then-current conditions as a trend rather than a more temporary anomaly. Might have also failed to realize that their rich traditional customers were considerably more recession-proof (or resilient) than other categories of car buyers.

So long story short, they adjusted when they'd probably have been better off not to. Funny twist there. Was it excessive pessimism (re: the economy) or excessive opportunism (lust for market share), or a lack of due regard given to their existing customer base (mistaking "the market" for "their market"), or something else? A lot has been written about it, for anyone inclined to dig deeper. I seem to remember that (re: point 2) there were some personalities involved, but can't remember the details.

As for me, I hadn't realized that so much of the old plant still exists, and is so utterly abandoned. Great thread, thanks.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 5th July 2015 at 23:42.
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Old 8th July 2015, 19:27   #38
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

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Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
My grandfather recalls Lucknow very well.

He did live there for a while; in the late 'Fifties. He was a student at ISM Dhanbad, back then.

Me- I've been to Lucknow a couple of times. I happen to follow the V&C scene very closely, hence happened to recall that a couple of Packard Clippers, 1946-48 model years- no less, happen to survive in Lucknow.

Oh yeah; my uncle (ex De Nobili, Dhanbad- followed by IIT-D and IIT-K) also recalls Lucknow very well. Whenever we meet, we always have a debate.


Where exactly did the USJ registration originate from?


I insist that it is Lucknow- whereas he insists that USJ was Kanpur, 1955-56.

So, at the wedding of a certain influential relative's son, I just noticed that the baraat car happened to be a 1947 Buick Eight, no less. USJ registered.

Promptly, opened up the glovebox and looked up the RC. It said, Lucknow- 1955ish. Showed the RC to my uncle. He lost this debate.

All this was in 2010-11 though. We still debate on this trivial topic, for old times sake. Love the Lucknow-Kanpur area, for some reason.

And that, dear sir, was my humble Lucknow connection. I live in Poona though.

_____________________________________

P.S: Was the Packard a four door? Or was it a coupe?


Well, that is certainly interesting - the Dhanbad and IIT connections! My wife had studied earlier at Mount Carmel, Dhanbad and quite of her friends (from both Carmel and De Nobili) came to Kolkata later for our marriage. And I attended IIT(K) with Naval Architecture.
Subsequently, DMET (Marine Eng. College, Kolkata) beckoned and I jumped ship from Kharagpur and enrolled at DMET, Kolkata!
Your grandfather certainly seems an interesting gentleman!
And the Packard was a 4-door. I have no idea where it ended up eventually.

Yes, Lucknow too had some lovely vintage pieces. I remember seeing a Hispano-Suiza - H6B I think - with a tattered fabric top and generally run-down state, hooting its way through the Chowk roundabout a couple of times.
There was an ivory white XK Jaguar (not sure 120 or 140) also in a fairly run down state and quite q few BMW motorcycles too - all boxer flat twins of the era. This was all in the Lucknow of 1968 - 1970, before I left to join DMET and a subsequent career at sea.
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Old 8th July 2015, 23:12   #39
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

Car Crash - The DeLorean Story: A BBC documentary of the Delorean that i really liked:
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Old 10th July 2015, 12:31   #40
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Car Crash - The DeLorean Story: A BBC documentary of the Delorean that i really liked:
The De Lorean story may have had a happy ending if the pressures of the situation hadn't prompted the man to take that incredible step. Of asking a family member (his wife) to carry contraband drugs (in a catastrophic attempt to raise money) through airport customs and unfortunately getting caught.
The fairytale came crashing down around his ears and the army of I-told-you-so's had a field day feasting at the demise.

Last edited by Eddy : 13th July 2015 at 07:07. Reason: Quoting a video hampers readability for our small screen users.
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Old 13th July 2015, 05:42   #41
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Nice and evocative post Mag. Good that you mentioned it to me on the way back from the fireworks fiasco at Hartford; I searched for this thread.

And I know few others have already mentioned this, but the old Standard Motors factory at Tambaram GST Road in Chennaiwas prominently etched in every Chennaite's memory. I could only get an image of the Gazelle Mark II that the factory churned out, along with a short video of the demolition of the factory where today Shriram IT park has sprung up. Among others, Accenture also runs its business from this site now.

Link to video:

Picture of the Std Motors Gazele Mk 2-
Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories-standard_gazel_mk2.jpg
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Old 16th July 2015, 07:16   #42
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Default Re: Abandoned: Iconic Car Factories

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Nice and evocative post Mag. Good that you mentioned it to me on the way back from the fireworks fiasco at Hartford; I searched for this thread.

We should do a roadtrip to some of these places once. Perhaps after I get my SUV!
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Old 16th July 2015, 07:20   #43
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We should do a roadtrip to some of these places once. Perhaps after I get my SUV!
I agree! Detroit is maybe two-three days away... Should be an epic trip. Don't know yet about the rest.
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