A year after, end of road for the iconic Ambassador carhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/a-year-after-end-of-road-for-the-iconic-ambassador-car/

A year after, end of road for the iconic Ambassador car

Hindustan Motors had suspended production from May 25, 2014 at its Uttarpara factory in West Bengal due to weak demand and lack of funds.

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Hindustan Motors had suspended production from May 25, 2014 at its Uttarpara factory in West Bengal due to weak demand and lack of funds. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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Hindustan Motors, which began manufacturing the car in 1958, neither changed its design nor enhanced its technology over the years. This resulted in falling sales — from 24,000 cars a year in the 1980s to less than 6,000 in the 2000s. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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The car that once symbolised the state, and was ridden by Prime Ministers, Presidents, Chief Ministers, collectors and police chiefs, now finds use chiefly as a rattletrap taxicab. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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The Hindustan Motors plant which produced Ambassadors was located in Uttarpara, West Bengal. Just down the line is a rail station still named Hindmotor, an indicator of the centrality of the car to the Indian economy, and to the idea of India. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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The Ambassador was derived from a once-fashionable foreign brand, the Morris Oxford III, but it just grew old while younger brands like Toyota and Hyundai surged ahead. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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It was the taxi driver’s kaali-peeli. It was also the neta’s white carriage, exuding power with not just its occupant, but also with its strong, boxy body, its “power brake” matter-of-factly printed on its trunk, and its roof always capped with a beacon. But for the rising Indian middle class, the Amby was too old-fashioned, too fuel-inefficient, and perhaps “too Indian” when compared to sleek, fuel-efficient, foreign-made cars. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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The factory that was closed last year left nearly 2, 500 staff unemployed with a bleak future. Before the factory was shut, the staffs were not paid for almost six months. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)

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The management of the company, had met the state government and had engaged in talks with two to three car manufacturers in China to launch a joint venture to save the company, however, all efforts went in vain. (Source:Express photo by Partha Paul)