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Hindustan Motors Long-Lived Ambassador May be Dead

Maker cites poor sales, low productivity, massive debt.

by on May.28, 2014

Hindustan Motors shut down production of its long-running Ambassador sedan. The King of Indian Roads was produced for more than 55 years.

Ford Mustang fans in the U.S. and mavens around the world have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first pony car. However, in India, many are mourning the apparent death of a car with an even longer history: the Hindustan Ambassador.

While the Mustang has carried on through several iterations – some better received than others – the Ambassador hasn’t changed much since its introduction in 1958. Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is called “The King of Indian roads.”

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A clunky looking sedan with a bulbous front end, the car – known affectionately as the “Amby” – has been the preferred mode of transport for politicians and celebrities alike in India since it was introduced more than 55 years ago. (more…)

Daimler Sells Off Tata Holdings

German maker says it can now target booming Indian market on its own.

by on Mar.09, 2010

Daimler says "tata" to Tata Motors.

The auto business can make for some strange bedfellows, but Germany’s Daimler AG says it has decided to end its ties to the Indian automaker Tata Motors.

Daimler expects to take in $410 million for its shares in Tata, where it held a roughly 5.3% stake.  That’s good news considering the German company’s recent financial problems, and will show up on the books for the first quarter.

The original investment reflected Daimler’s interest in staking a position in the booming Indian automotive market.  Tata is one of the lead players there, and has been targetting first-time buyers with the stripped-down Nano which, at just over $2,000, competes against motorcycles and other basic forms of transportation.

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But in a statement announcing the sale, Daimler said it was now in and “excellent position to capitalize on the growth potential of the Indian (market) by strengthening its own activities in both the car and commercial vehicle sectors.

(more…)