Last year, the market was rife with rumors about the Ambassador’s potential comeback to the Indian market. Although the owners of the Ambassador brand haven’t confirmed its return, the question arises: if it does make a comeback, will people opt for the modern iteration of the Ambassador?
Why it could come back?
Groupe PSA, the Citroen brand owner in India, also holds the rights to use the iconic Ambassador name. Last year, Hind Motor Financial Corporation of India (HMFCI) and Groupe PSA were rumored to be collaborating to introduce a new electric car next year. The new car might likely bear the name of India’s only car that remained in production for over three decades—the Ambassador.
With Citroen gradually establishing itself in the Indian market, Groupe PSA might reintroduce the name to further boost sales. Yet, no official confirmation regarding the launch has been made. Uttam Bose, head of Hindustan Motors, hinted to TOI last year that the new Ambassador is approaching its launch phase. Bose revealed that the design and mechanical work on the new Ambassador are at an advanced stage. Many interpreted this statement as a sign of the name’s imminent return to the Indian market.
Likely to have a different appearance than before
India has witnessed the return of several names like Baleno and Safari, but these cars sport a modern and stylish appearance, distinct from their predecessors. The Ambassador will likely follow suit. To adapt to modern trends, it will feature a contemporary look while retaining its robustness and three-box style.
The revived Ambassador will be a futuristic car equipped with modern features, including ADAS. It will be powered by an electric drivetrain, with an expected range of about 350 km. Notably, India is yet to receive a mass-segment electric sedan, excluding the Rs 75 lakh BMW i4 from this list. The electric Ambassador is expected to be priced around Rs 20 lakh upon its launch in India.
Groupe PSA currently holds the rights to the Ambassador name, acquired from Hindustan Motors for approximately Rs 80 crores. Initially, there were reports suggesting that the Ambassador’s name would be exclusively reserved for a future electric car. However, it appears that the brand may now use the name for its upcoming sedan.
The Ambassador name holds significant brand value in India, associated with the first domestically manufactured car that endured the longest production run. It remains an iconic name in the Indian market, with numerous enthusiasts expressing their hopes for Citroen to use the name wisely.
Will there be consumer interest?
Despite the rising popularity of electric cars in India, hybrids remain more favored and have recently surpassed the sales of pure EVs. While the Ambassador brings nostalgia, will it be enough to capture the mass market segment? Initially a status symbol, the Hindustan Ambassador became an accessible car. However, the new Ambassador must appeal to the masses, requiring a price tag that makes it accessible to most consumers in India in order to succeed.