Hindustan Ambassador is a truly legendary car. The Ambassador is for India what the Beetle is for Germany. The Ambassador was the first car that was made in India and remained in production for a span of 57 years, the longest in the Indian automotive history to date. Many Indians still love the Ambassador, and the car’s still held in the garage of many collectors across the nation.
There’s a petition filed online on Change.org asking Prime Minister Office and Prime of India, Narendra Modi to revive the iconic vehicle. Hindustan Motors suffered a critical lack of funds while the dwindling demand for the Ambassador did not help the cause. The company finally shut down in May 2015.
Why do we want it back?
The Hindustan Ambassador is a true legend roaming on the Indian roads. The car became famous of its spacious cabin, thanks to its monocoque chassis and its ability to churn out infinite mileage on the odometer. The Ambassador was also the favourite vehicle of the politicians, mostly because of its heavy duty body and the desi connection.
Now recreating a vintage look would not be a huge problem for the company, the Ambassador went out of the production because of its ageing engine that could not keep up with the stringent pollution norms of the country. Even though all the other main cities of India deployed the BS-IV norms, Kolkata, being the home to Hindustan Motors delayed the new pollution standard for a long time.
Hindustan Motors powered the Ambassador with 1.5-litre 37 BHP diesel engine, 1.8-litre 75BHP petrol engine, 2.0-litre 50 BHP diesel engine from Isuzu and 2.0-litre turbocharged 75 BHP diesel engine from Isuzu. If the car makes a comeback, Hindustan Motors will have to find cleaner engines to power the Ambassador.
The pollution is not the only problem Ambassador will have to deal with. Starting from October 2017, all the Indian vehicles will have to feature ABS and driver-side airbags as standard. There will be other mandatory features like seat-belt reminder and rear parking sensors. Soon, all the vehicles selling in India will also have to go through the stringent crash test and fuel economy test. To pass all the mandatory guidelines will take some effort for sure.
But will it be worth it?
Why not? Iconic cars like Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500 have grown with time to represent the history of their country even today. Hindustan Motors could not keep up with time and killed the Ambassador citing financial crunch. If the Ambassador comes back in an all-new avatar with lighter body, more powerful engine but with same iconic design, it will attract a significant customer influx. Also, we will get to see a living legend roaming on the streets among the modern vehicles. That should be enough reason for the Ambassador to make a comeback.
If you want to support the return of the Ambassador, you can sign up at change.org and file your petition here: Change.org