Ambassador is no longer the preferred mode of transport for Indian politicians and bureaucrats. Hindustan Motors has been struggling to sell enough units to keep the operations profitable and as a result, the product has been completely halted this month.
The company is still hopeful that they would be able to restart product in the future after a round of restructuring and fresh investments. But it looks unlikely that the model would find takers amongst the new generation of consumers.
HM sold only around 2214 units of Ambassador last year down from sales of around 24000 units back in the 1980s.
We might soon have Isuzu branded SUVs and light commercial vehicles on sale in India.
The company is collaborating with Hindustan Motors to bring their products to India.
HM would import the components from Isuzu and assemble it at their plant for domestic sale.
The two companies said:
The components for producing these vehicles will be imported by Isuzu Motors from Thailand and assembled in the Thiruvallur factory of HML
Isuzu MU7 SUV and DMAX pickup truck are two products that are likely to be selected for the first round of launch.
Hindustan Motors has announced a significant price cut for the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport model in the Indian market.
The price has been cut by around Rs. 1.85 lakhs as the company is localizing some parts of this model.
The company said that the quality of the product is not affected as the local parts are as good as the ones that were imported earlier.
HM aims to further increase the localization to bring the manufacturing costs down.
Pajero Sport is now priced at around Rs. 22.56 lakhs putting it pretty close to competing models in this segment of the market.
It comes powered with a 2.5 liter CRDI engine capable of producing 178PS power and 400Nm torque.
Hindustan Motors aims for major sales boost in the coming years
Hindustan Motors is working on a couple of new product launches and the company has ambitious plans to increase their sales.
The company sold around 10,000 vehicles last year. They are aiming to sell 50,000 units per year by 2013-14 financial year.
Hindustan Motors said: “Our focus is more on commercial vehicle segment now. The sales ratio of passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles is about 80:20. We this will be around 50:50 in couple of years’ time.”
The company is planning to launch five new models within this financial year.
Hindustan Motors working on a major update to Ambassador model
Ambassador remains a popular option with politicians. But it sees almost no sale in the consumer segment. It has lost popularity in the taxi segment too as more efficient models are being preferred by taxi operators.
Hindustan Motors is not losing hope though. They have started working on an ambitious project to reinvent Ambassador.
This new model is likely to be on sale by next year. The company is expecting that it would regain the popularity in the Indian market and could generate solid profits for them in the years to come.
HM is working with designer houses in Europe to develop this next generation Ambassador. The company promises that the new version would be a totally different from the Ambassador we see on the roads today.
Proton Holdings might enter India with collaboration with Hindustan Motors
Industry sources are reporting that Proton is planning to enter the lucrative Indian market through collaboration with local player Hindustan Motors.
Proton has been long working on plans to launch their vehicles in India. A deal with HM could be announced in the near future.
HM is already in a similar collaboration with Japanese automaker Mitsubishi.
The two companies have not commented on these reports yet.
Hindustan Motors plans to reinvent the Ambassador!
Hindustan Motors has revealed plans to totally reinvent their almost vintage model Ambassador that is still sold in the market.
Ambassador remains popular with government bodies and taxis. But the charm is disappearing as government officials move on to more stylish cars and taxis shift to cheaper alternatives.
HM has said that they are aiming to launch a brand new edition of Ambassador next year which would be a major update to this model.
The company said: “The new Amby will have a retro design and sport cutting-edge engineering to compete on comfort and value for money. Overseas experts have been roped in for the metamorphosis. The new version will be ready by January-February 2011 for test trials and is expected to undergo validation by May so that commercial production can begin next July.”
The styling is being done by experts from Europe and we can only hope that HM does not mess it up this time around.
Mitsubishi Evo-X might land in India next year
Mitsubishi might launch their Mitsubishi Evo-X model in the Indian market sometime next year.
The company had displayed the model at Auto Expo in 2008.
It has been a hot favourite since then.
This high performance model could arrive in India at Auto Expo 2010.
Mitsubishi is likely to bring this model for sale in the Indian market through the CBU route with their partner Hindustan Motor.
As a result, the model would be sold at a price tag of around Rs. 30 lakhs putting it in the same category as the cheaper Mercedes and the BMW.
Hindustan Motors set to launch a special vehicle from Mitsubishi
Indian automaker Hindustan Motors has announced that they are in the process of launching a new vehicle from the stables of Mitsubishi.
The company did not reveal the name of the model they are going to launch in the Indian market.
But they did say that the launch would create a lot of excitement in India for Mitsubishi.
HM is already selling a couple of Mitsubishi models in the Indian market like the Mitsubishi Pajero, Lancer, Cedia, Outlander and Montero.
HM said: “We are gearing up for the launch of a niche vehicle, hopefully, within this year, for which we are awaiting requisite homologation from ARAI.”
Nothing was revealed about this new surprise vehicle from Mitsubishi.
Budget effect: High end cars to become slightly cheaper
In the just announced Union Budget, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed to reduce the additional excise duty on big cars with engine capacities of 2,000 cc and above by Rs 5,000 per unit.
This means that high end cars could now become slightly cheaper in the Indian market.
Hindustan Motors has become the first automaker in the country to announce a price cut. They have reduced the prices of their models like Mitsubishi Pajero, Mitsubishi Outlander and Mitsubishi Montero.
BMW, General Motors and Toyota along with Tata Motors have also announced that they are soon going to announce a price cut on the higher end models.
GM said: “We will pass on the benefits of this excise duty cut to our customers immediately.”
Toyota had this to say: “We have always been passing on all benefits to the customers, which we get from the government. Though this cut is very minimum, still we will pass on this.”
Honda has bad news for the customers who are considering buying their cars: “We will not cut prices. There is lot of pressure on bottom line due to depreciation of Rupee in the international market.”