CK Birla to sell Ambassador auto brand to Peugeot

While there are no details shared by Peugeot at this point about its vision ahead for the Ambassador, it is however expected that the French vehicle maker will attempt to revive the legendary brand even as it itself makes yet another attempt to crack the Indian market.

Hindustan Motors already ceased production of the Ambassador a few years ago in 2014, when the company felt that the dismal sales of the auto were not sustainable enough to keep continuing producing the vehicle.

"We have executed an agreement with the Peugeot SA Group for the sale of the brand Ambassador, including the trademarks".

C Birla Group firm Hindustan Motors Ltd, arguably the first vehicle maker in the country, has chose to sell its eponymous brand Ambassador, to French automaker Peugeot SA for Rs 80 crore ($12 million) it said on Friday.

The deal was formalised by CK Birla group-owned Hindustan Motors on Friday for Rs 80 crore. Peugeot's tie up with an Indian brand, Hindustan Motors is to help keep the manufacturing costs low and in turn make the prices of its end products competitive.

Going back in the 70s meant that Indian drivers did not have much option except go for the Ambassador.

The war horse was even ferrying guests right till its twilight years of 2013-2014 which was when India was headed for national elections. It is also still in use as a taxi in some Indian cities including Kolkata.

Modern, frugal and cost-efficient machines from Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota became the reason why the Amby struggled to attract new buyers. The Fiat Padmini, launched at least 10 years before the 800, never really managed to dent the Ambassador's sales. The tie-up was to make use of the Hindustan Motors plant in Chennai as its production unit. The group had made repeated attempts to return to the Indian market.

The company said, "The sale of the Ambassador Brand shall be effective upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions as prescribed in the said abovementioned agreement".

  • Zachary Reyes