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v12 23rd May 2004 14:54

Hindustan Motors : History

Hindustan Motors was set up during the Second World War in order to produce motor vehicles for the burgeoning Indian middle-classes. Because of the fact that India was still very much a part of the British Empire, it was inevitable that ambitious industrialists based in India would look back to the homeland to provide the manufacturing technology and facilities. Successfully established, the company's first product the Landmaster duly entered production in 1942. Essentially an Indian-built version of the original Morris Oxford, it marked the beginning of a long-lasting and fruitful relationship between Morris Motors and Hindustan.

Production history

During the early 1950s Hindustan extended their arrangement with Morris Motors by commencing production of the Morris Minor. Interestingly renamed the "Baby Hindustan" for local consumption, the Minor would prove to be something of a success.

The next generation Morris Oxford (Series III) entered production in India in 1957, following its withdrawal from the UK market. This arrangement made a lot of sense because the car's tooling was moved lock, stock and barrel from the UK and it enabled Hindustan to produce the car very much on their own terms. This new model was named Ambassador, and would prove to be the mainstay of Hindustan's production well into the new millennium.

The next new model would not arrive until 1980, when the Contessa (essentially, a localised version of the 1972 Vauxhall Victor FE) went into production after its tooling was sold to Hindustan Motors by General Motors.

Source : Austin Rover

Also read : History of the Ambassador

arun1100 27th March 2010 12:34

HM will most probably become History now.. Sad!

imp! 27th March 2010 15:06


Originally Posted by arun1100 (Post 1806227)
HM will most probably become History now.. Sad!

Indeed, but they were there when India needed them, they have not been able/shown no interest in becoming a modern manufacturer like Tata/Mahindra.
I for one will not be sad to see a dearth of new ambassadors in the future.

aargee 27th March 2010 15:44

This is a good example to show one has to move with the times to adopt new technology to stay with competition & if not will cease to exist. I sincerely wish HM come up with some good strategy to stay in competition & their exit from automobile industry remains as rumour.

chax 27th March 2010 16:09

yes indeed the ambassador of yesterday should be revived , a new fresh design something in the likes of the holden efigy concept could bring back the amby to desirable status

chennai-indian 27th March 2010 16:22

I have absolutely no respect for H.M. They thrived in an era of controls which created artificial scarcity and did nothing after liberalization to move forward. We old timers can wax nostalgic (I learned driving in an Ambassador- with the gear lever on the side of the steering - what to call it - a hand shift?) about the good old days but have no respect for a company that essentially threw away the golden opportunity it had to come good.

arun1100 27th March 2010 16:33

My friend recently bought a New Ambassador as a Govt. official car.. He had an Innova too and the salesman knew about it. During delivery of the Amby, the salesman told him " Saar, use Innova for long drives as unlike old Ambys new Ambassadors are not reliable and safe for long drives!" This reality! Their quality has gone nuts these days.

samsag12 27th March 2010 17:40

IMHO HM is/was simply a money making firm. They concentrated on increasing their sales volume and never thought of providing customers with latest technological upgrades. Whenever they were forced to do some upgrades they did that simply to survive in the market and not to mention their 90% sales coming from Govt. depts. And now when more alternatives are adopted by the govt.HM is in rumors of closure. No offense meant to anybody this is just my opinion.

designersf 31st March 2010 12:04

There are quite a number of fans in India for the Amby and why not resurrect it with a modern design like the Mini, Fiat 500 and Beetle?

HammerHead 31st March 2010 15:56

HM did not put any efforts to change with the time. They are still where they were 50 years back!! IMO HM and PAL are the worst examples in Auto sector when it comes to managing the brand. Nothing will bring then up from where they are today.

yogeshnaik 31st March 2010 16:01

HM had a very good Contessa Classis too with Isuzu engine, but short lived. Now they are also marketing Mitsubishi vehicles.

ampere 31st March 2010 16:18

Nice one ! Not to rob away V12's credit, but where is sidcarindica ? :D

Grafin 31st March 2010 19:28


Originally Posted by designersf (Post 1812989)
There are quite a number of fans in India for the Amby and why not resurrect it with a modern design like the Mini, Fiat 500 and Beetle?

For that, a company like BMW should buy Ambi or the company(HM) should be run by people with something inside their heads.

Ambi could've been a cult classic car if HM had upgraded it from time to time.

Now Ambi should have the basic decency to roll over and die.

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