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Old 25th June 2020, 14:54   #46
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
BTW, please find below, some pics of the concept/next-gen Ambassador EV that I saw on the net. Looks imposing, to say the least. This is built by the country's best/renowned automobile stylist, Mr. Dilip Chhabria / DC Designs.
Oh my, I wouldn't touch anything by Dilip with a ten foot pole. While I know design is purely subjective and this is my opinion, the frankly less than tepid responses his work seems to get in recent years would bear testimony to the fact that perhaps I'm not out on my own with that opinion. I will say however that it's commendable of him to put himself out there.

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Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
Well, somebody has to start, right?..
Here's the rub, developing such a bespoke Indian platform is going to cost a pretty penny. Let's take the Aurus Senat, Putin's Russian presidential limo.
Quote:
As of 2017, the Russian government had already put at least nearly $300 million into the development program.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ored-limousine
Quote:
The automaker began developing the Aurus Senat back in 2013 with the project totaling nearly 12.4 billion rubles or $189 million in research and development.
https://www.thedrive.com/news/29557/...-putin-in-mind

So while the Russian objective with Project Cortege (the umbrella programme) was to kickstart an "indigenous" high end automobile range, it gives a good idea of the vast outlay that'll be required if India were to go down the same road. However for arguments sake let's make some concessions - any Indian Cortege-like programme wouldn't need any goal of state stimulus in terms of seeding a home grown auto sector, I think it's fair to say we comfortably have a strong domestic auto manufacturing base. So that's going to take down the cost a peg but I wager not by much. So then what you'll end up with is a programme purely for the optics of the vehicle the PM and President ride around in and how tenable do you think is the opportunity cost of that sort of posturing with the public, especially in such a fiscally challenging time for the govt? Having this programme be a govt funded project just faces a lot of hurdles to get off the ground.

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Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
And I had thought from the present PM's seemingly country focussed initiatives, he is the best candidate for making the switch.
This I agree on, if anyone you'd think Modi would back this considering how much his administration touts the issue. However, it's simply not a priority. Even with their electoral stranglehold, sanctioning that outlay for just a vehicle project is too low on the list of priorities and predictably the organisations tasked with procuring the executive transport go for the safest off the shelf option because with that you have known quantities. At this point you can counter that doing so is still a hefty outlay but to this the procurement folks can provide detailed lifetime costs for pretty much everything. A Tata or Mahindra product will have big question marks over those lifetime costs. Even when we buy a regular car, when a new brand/model enters the market, don't we on Team BHP always caution about the inherent risk that comes with the maintenance and servicing of this new brand or product over the course of its life? There's always likely to be niggles in brand new platforms, and while in the domestic market you'll usually have enough volume that any issues will both be highlighted soon and also you'd be able to rapidly retool the manufacturing or production line accordingly to address it in later tranches of cars sold. For the PM/Presidents vehicle these would be relatively speaking one offs, so you'd require more experience in bespoke manufacturing and the turnaround times needed for that.
However, if private industry were willing to bear this cost, or at least a large portion of the R&D needed, then you stack the cards a bit more in favour of seeing an Indian leader in an Indian badged vehicle. What we both agree on is that a start has to be made somewhere, and unfortunately this would come to pass a lot sooner if the initial impetus came from industry. So suppose Tata or Mahindra entered the D1 sector and higher, then they have a potential marketing angle to approach if they plunged that development cost out of pocket to push for either the PM or President to use. You'd imagine if they achieved that, they'd not really need much in way of traditional advertising because the expectation would be that in simply doing so, said vehicle would instantly be on the Indian auto map.

So bringing it back to my optics vs risk equation I'd add a further element. Cost. It's that simple.

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Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
I think that is Mahindra's strategic decision to focus on their major market more, not related to their technical capability. Mahindra's largest tractor sales are in India, which is also the largest tractor market in the world.
So in that vein yes, clearly the volume capability is there in our domestic base but we're talking about a stratified sector of the market, the high end where volumes aren't a factor. That's the base for this vehicle or is likely to be. India doesn't have any (mostly) domestic product that competes at that end of the market. The tolerances, panel gaps and quality control are intrinsically at a higher standard for that part of the market. While Tata and Mahindra have absolutely made strides to vastly improve the overall fit and finish and interior design, asking them to furnish an executive limo I imagine would invariably be a bumpy ride. I'd absolutely love for our leaders to relatively speaking slum it out in a decked out Harrier but given their taste for the nicer things in life, I don't think they'd take kindly to the lack of luxury.
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Old 1st July 2020, 11:09   #47
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Default Re: Rust In Pieces... Pics of Disintegrating Classic & Vintage Cars

I would love to see these as the Prime Ministerial or Presidential Cars, they look menacing and are Indigenous, a worthy successor to the Sierra probably.
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Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-tataharrierblackeditionfront1024x678.jpg  


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Old 1st July 2020, 13:21   #48
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Default Re: Rust In Pieces... Pics of Disintegrating Classic & Vintage Cars

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Originally Posted by terra85 View Post
I would love to see these as the Prime Ministerial or Presidential Cars, they look menacing and are Indigenous, a worthy successor to the Sierra probably.
Do you mean the convoy? I think they already are using these in state convoys. I remember seeing 2-3 Harriers in MH CM convoy, won't be long before it finds its way to PM convoy. I agree with you, this in the PM convoy ( esp. Dark edition ) would be absolutely amazing.

Last edited by SaiSW : 1st July 2020 at 13:23.
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Old 1st July 2020, 13:38   #49
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Default Re: Rust In Pieces... Pics of Disintegrating Classic & Vintage Cars

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Originally Posted by SaiSW View Post
. I agree with you, this in the PM convoy ( esp. Dark edition ) would be absolutely amazing.
Ya it will look smashing, if bulletproofed it can be used by PM also I guess. Heads of state usually prefer local vehicles.Would increase desirability to a whole new level.
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Old 4th July 2020, 23:47   #50
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Default Re: Rust In Pieces... Pics of Disintegrating Classic & Vintage Cars

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post
Here's an interesting state car, a Tata Sierra! Images taken from 1995 Republic Day footage, so PV Narasimha Rao is the PM.
Talking of Tata Sierras, I remember reading that late TN CM Jayalalitha had a fleet of them under her command when she was a CM in the 1990s.

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post
Don't miss this Ambulance? Jammer? W124 based support car.
The W124 is an ambulance. This was left to rot and is now being restored. The Team-Bhp link to the news.

https://www.team-bhp.com/news/ex-pre...being-restored

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Originally Posted by sunishsamuel View Post
Was that Sierra a personal vehicle of someone by any chance ? Its having AP9 plates (AndhraPradhesh) so I have a feeling that it was probably a temporary arrangement.

Looking at the heavy modifications done to the Sierra, it does seem to be an official vehicle.
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Old 19th August 2020, 13:15   #51
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

From youtube.

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Old 24th August 2020, 14:37   #52
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by FrozeninTime View Post
There used to be an cream colour
Ambulance based on Mercedes W 124 chassis which used to part of PM convoy in early 1990s. Any idea what happened to it?

Not many know that Lal Bahadur Shastri also had a Mark 2 lime green Ambassador. If you were lucky to visit shastri family's home in 1990s in Delhi one would be suprised with sheer number of cars the family had ranging from latest Astra to BMW 3 series.

Strangely I have never seen Fiat 1100 in shastri family's residence in Delhi only Mark 2 Ambassador parked whenever we visited shastri family's residence in in 1990s



The Ambulance had landed in Kerala and has now been picked up and getting restored. Here is the TeamBHP post link:

https://www.team-bhp.com/news/ex-pre...being-restored
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Old 24th August 2020, 14:54   #53
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Wow, this really is a left field option! Having said that, the famous glass house of the Sierra to me would strike me as something more akin to the Popemobile, whatever the iteration. Essentially something with a big old glass display cabinet mounted on the rear with his holiness to wave at the crowds from. Pope Francis however has reverted to a humble Fiat Panda or such like, all in keeping with his more austere take on the papacy.

Also to me it looks like the PM wasn't clambering out the back, he was just sat up front (21 minute mark on the video and 23 minute mark when he gets out). Now if he had to wait for someone to lower the front seat before clambering out, then for sure that would've been less than ideal. Also looks like there was only one rear seat, the agent in the back just was on his haunches on the boot essentially because he launched out the back door as soon as the car rolled to halt.

That strange W124 based vehicle seems to have an domed appendage on the roof though not the other myriad antennae you see on other signal jamming vehicles in a motorcade. Those cars tend to look like a veritable hedgehog with all the protruding antennae.

I wonder what other interesting rides Indian PMs and Presidents have used.

The W124 behind is an Ambulance
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Old 7th September 2020, 18:02   #54
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Default Re: Cars of Rashtrapathi Bhavan - wheels for a nascent Nation / Republic

Mahindra Alturas G4 added to the Rashtrapati Bhavan fleet

Mahindra has handed over the first BS6-compliant Alturas G4 SUV to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The SUV was received by the Joint Secretary on the behalf of the President of India.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-ehjozmgxcaaty72.jpg

The Alturas G4 BS6 was launched in April this year. The SUV that was delivered to the Rashtrapati Bhavan is finished in black.

The Alturas G4 is powered by a BS6-compliant 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that produces 178 BHP @ 4,000 rpm and 420 Nm @ 1,600-2,600 rpm. It is paired with a Mercedes-Benz sourced 7-speed automatic gearbox and gets four-wheel-drive functionality.

The SUV comes equipped with 9 airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, ESP, active rollover protection, hill start assist, hill descent control, traction control and ISOFIX child safety seat anchor points.

Link to Team-BHP News

Last edited by TusharK : 7th September 2020 at 18:06.
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Old 23rd January 2021, 11:23   #55
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

Was sitting on one screenshot and procrastinating for almost an year now, when Prasar Bharati Archives went on an uploading spree to the run up of the upcoming Republic Day.

1981 Republic day parade
1970s Caprice/Impalas(?) - Wonder where they are now. Sold off to private buyers?
BHPian Vinay Kamath has the 80s Caprices, wonder where the 70s models are now.
The 600 Grossers are seen behind the motorcade, while the President and the guest comes in the horse buggy thingy.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123023756.png

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123023704.png

1987 Republic day parade

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi came in a jeep.
Don't know my jeeps, so not sure if this the RHD bulletproof jeep mentioned in the OP or a bullet proof Mahindra.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123021017.png

The First Lady and the wife of the guest came in W123s.
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123021314.png

The President and the guest came in the W116, with the Grosser behind.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123021354.png

The Vice President came in a...is that a Standard 2000?There is no close-up, so can't say for sure.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123100144.png

1989 Republic Day parade

Prime Minister came in the Ambassador this time instead of the jeep.

The Vice President came in an Ambassador which has an interesting headlight ornament.
A fat chrome cup!!!
All Vice presidents through the 1990s had Ambassador's with this chrome light cup.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123103325.png

The First Lady and guest came in black Contessas
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123104547.png

The President came in the W116.

1990 Republic Day parade

The W126 makes appearance, with the Grosser keeping watch.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210123022610.png

1993 Republic Day parade

The President came in a Caprice Classic. Last version of the third generation Caprice. (single headlights)
Guess 1994 Republic Day parade was the last time, the President used an American car before going full on S class.
Ofcourse the Caprice Classics were part of the motorcade well into the early 2000s.
Funny how the indian muscle car, landyacht seems to cower in front of a downsized US family sedan
Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-screenshot_20210122110111.png

All screenshots were taken from


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Old 16th February 2021, 11:14   #56
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

When the PM visited Chennai recently, he used a J200 Landcruiser. In Kolkata he often uses a previous generation L322 Range Rover.

I wonder, are these cars kept across the country (in the major capitals atleast), or transported from Delhi?
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