A round up of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of classic motoring.
Not content with hoovering up Opel and Vauxhall, Groupe PSA recently announced its purchase of the historic Ambassador brand from Hindustan for approximately £9.5m. Groupe PSA has no plans to reintroduce the old Ambassador, produced between 1958 and 2014 as a locally modified Series III Morris Oxford which became an Indian national icon.
Groupe PSA bought the intellectual property rights to the Ambassador name with the intention of producing a new range of Ambassador branded cars with Hindustan’s parent firm, CK Birla Group, by 2020. Assembly of vehicles and components will take place in the Tamil Nadu area.
At its peak, the Uttarpara line West Bengal (which produced the last Ambassador) employed 2000 local people. Hindustan Motors (HM) has been struggling with its finances for years; local trade unions, keen to protect the pension contributions of Uttarpara line workers, recently claimed that, despite the sale of the Ambassador nameplate, its members had still not received compensation.
In the 1990s, 1.8-litre Isuzu-engined Ambassador saloons were imported back to the UK by Fullbore Motors in London direct from Hindustan. Sold as Ambassadors (or plusher ‘Fullbore’ variants) a handful found homes in Blighty.