Hindustan Contessa to make a comeback to India

Earlier this year, the rumours of Hindustan Contessa making a comeback became quite popular. Hindustan Motors, which used to sell Ambassaor and Contessa in the Indian market registered the name Contessa in the Indian market. What does it mean? Does it mean both the cars are coming back?

Hindustan Contessa to make a comeback to India
Picture of Peugeot e-Legend concept as a reference

Accrding to MotorBeam, Hindustan Motors registered the Contessa name. Earlier this year, Hindustan Motors and its Indian partner Mitsubishi Motors revealed a plan to bring back the Ambassador name. Later in an interview with TOI, Director of Hindustan Motors said, “Mechanical and design work for a new engine has reached an advanced stage” The statement suggests that the new Ambassador, if it becomes a reality will be powered by a petrol or a diesel engine.

Hindustan Contessa to make a comeback to India

Bose also said that a completely new look of Ambassador will be unveiled. However, he did not say anything on the Contessa. Since Hindustan Motors has filed a new trademark for the Contessa, we can say that the brand might have something for us in the store.

Contessa was discontinued much before Ambassador

Hindustan Contessa to make a comeback to India

Contessa got discontinued much before the Ambassador in the Indian market. However, the car had a decent run between 1984 when it was introduced and 2002 when the brand pulled the plug on it. Given the muscular design characteristics of the car, it was even considered an Indian “muscle car” by many even though it was not. It only came with a 1.5-litre BMC B-Series engine that could generate a maximum of 50 PS. Later a 54 PS version also arrived. Both of the engine options came powered by a four-speed transmission.

The Contessa was based on the Vauxhall Victor FE Series that was sold in the international markets. The car became a status symbol and made appearances in Indian movies as well.

Ambassador name belongs to Puegoet

Hindustan Motors does not own the “Ambassador” name anymore. It was bought the French manufacturer – Groupe PSA, which is now known as Stellantis Groupe. Peugeot is under the Stellantis group and now the owner of the “Ambassador” moniker.

Things have become interesting at the moment as Hind Motor Financial Corporation of India (HMFCI) and the Peugoet S.A. are working on a stratgey to bring back the iconic name. It is highly likely that the Contessa’s ressurection depends on the success of the Ambassador car.

Hindustan Ambassador

Hindustan Contessa to make a comeback to India
Speculative render of Ambassador

The Hindustan Ambassador has discontinued from the Indian market a few years ago after decades of being in production. It was the first car to be made in India and was the only passenger car that was getting made in India for a long time. The Ambassador was discontinued in 2014, 57 years after its production started, which makes it the only car to be in production for so long in India.

The Hindustan Ambassador became an extremely popular car in the 1980s and the 1990s. Everyone from the politician to the actors was using it and the sedan was way ahead of its time too. The Ambassador came with monocoque chassis, which ensure a spacious cabin space, which became a USP of the car. Also, its heavy build quality made it a safe car, which is why the Ambassador became popular with the politicians. In its last years, the Ambassador was launched in a few derivatives including a pick-up truck but with stiff competition in the market, the popularity of the vehicle plummeted.

The Ambassador remains one of the finest cars in the country and many collectors still have it in their garage. Peugeot, the French carmaker has bought the rights to use the name and we may get to see the revival of the Ambassador name in the future.