Hindustan Motors said it had suspended work at its facility outside the city of Kolkata, blaming financing issues and weak demand. Modeled on the Morris Oxford, the Ambassador’s design has changed little since it first went into production in the year 1957. It was once the only car driven by government officials and politicians. However the automaker only marketed 2200 Ambassador models in the financial year which ended March 2014.
Hindustan Motors blamed the shutdown on “worsening situations at its Uttarpara facility which include growing indiscipline, very low productivity, large accumulation of liabilities, critical shortage of funds and lack of demand for its core product the Ambassador”. In spite of its dwindling sales, the unique car with its spacious interior and bulbous design has many admirers and was last year named the world’s best taxi by the BBC’s popular Top Gear television show.
The suspension of work will allow the company in restricting restructure and mounting liabilities its finances and organization and bring in a situation conductive to reopening of the facility, the company said. Analysts are not optimistic about the vehicle’s future. Deepesh Rathore from research firm Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors said: “In the present shape I don’t think the Ambassador has got any chances of revival.” “It doesn’t make any business sense, he added”
Struggling with falling sales, HM accumulated losses exceeding its net worth at the end of its financial year ended 30th September, 2013, and the automaker has been looking for investors.