Ambassador as a modern EV? Hindustan Motors plans electric comeback

  • Hindustan Motors signs MoU with Peugeot and the first electric car may hit Indian roads in around two years from now.
Electric avatar of the iconic HM Ambassador car as designed by Vishal Verma. Image has been used here for representational purpose only.
Electric avatar of the iconic HM Ambassador car as designed by Vishal Verma. Image has been used here for representational purpose only.

Hindustan Motors, the makers of the iconic Ambassador model that remains a common sight on Indian roads, is planning a return to the field of play with electric models that could include an electric scooter as well as an Ambassador 2.0 with an electric battery powering it. The Hind Motor Financial Corporation of India (HMFCI) has reportedly collaborated with French auto manufacturer Peugeot to re-enter the automotive space in a bid to play a role in the electric mobility channels.

Hindustan Motors had had to shut down its factory in Uttarpara in West Bengal in early parts of 2021 after decades of operation. This was the home to the Ambassador which was manufactured here since 1957. But recent years had not been too kind to the model and the manufacturer with problems such as lack of demand and mounting debt stated as the reasons for the plant closure. A senior official at the time had said work was being suspended in order to allow time to draw a revival plan. The plan may now be getting finishing touches.

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Electric mobility is leveling the play-field for many and well-established and well-entrenched players may not necessarily have a firm control over market share. It is perhaps why an MoU has already been signed between Hindustan Motors and Peugeot.

But while it is not certain if the Ambassador will indeed make an electric comeback, chances are that the iconic model could indeed return to play big in the Indian automotive space. After all, at one point in time in the 1970s, the model had helped the manufacturer have a nearly 75 per cent market share. But even if those times are far gone and the competition has increased massively, the EV field has opportunities galore. At present, reports suggest work is on for a electric two-wheeler but that an electric car is also planned.

First Published Date: 27 May 2022, 09:17 AM IST
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