though reports suggest that Groupe PSA would be using the iconic ‘Ambassador’
name for its electric vehicles in India in the future, there was no official
confirmation on it during the unveiling of the Citroen C5 Aircross in Chennai,
Tamil Nadu. “At the moment, how we use the name Ambassador, it should be
credible and respectful,” said Linda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Citroën
Brand, Groupe PSA.
Jackson was replying to a question from the media as to how the company
intended to use the name Ambassador which it had acquired in 2017. The top
management of Groupe PSA insisted that the company wanted to be “inspired by
Indians” and since the Ambassador car at one time denoted status and
reliability, among other things for Indians, they needed to be cautious with
the use of the word ‘Ambassador’. “We have to be very respectful,” Ms Jackson
stated, referring to the use of the name.
may be recalled that it was in February 2017, a few weeks after announcing a
tie up with Groupe PSA of France , that the CK Birla Group had announced that
Hindustan Motors Ltd, the manufacturer of the iconic Ambassador car, had
executed an agreement with Peugeot S.A. on February 10, 2017 for the sale of
the Ambassador brand.
Ambassador brand (including the trademarks having application numbers 2803570,
2803571 and 2821821) and certain related rights ("Ambassador Brand")
by the Company (Hindustan Motors Limited) were sold to Peugeot S.A for a
consideration of Rs 80,00,00,000 (Indian Rupees Eighty crore).
Motors was established in 1942 by late BM Birla (grandfather of CK Birla) and
for the several decades the company’s flagship product Ambassador car, derived
from Morris Oxford Series III, ruled the roost in the Indian passenger car
market. By the end of the 1970s, its market share was as much as 75pc, but its
progress was halted with the coming in of Maruti Udyog Ltd (now Maruti Suzuki
Ltd) and the Maruti 800 car. The latter was launched in 1983.
was in 1948 that HM moved its operations to Uttarpara in West Bengal for
manufacturing Ambassador cars. By 2014,
after incurring huge losses and also after dealing with massive labour unrests,
the company suspended operations in Uttarpara facility.