Ask your dad if he ever drove a Ambassador? The answer most of us will hear is a ‘yes’. Now, pose this same question to the youths of today and the answer will be a ‘no’. In fact, none of us would even like to own a ambassador because of its stodgy and dowdy look. But back then, several decades ago, it was a “status symbol”. Its proud owners took its name with pride. But the aura and prestige of Ambassador has gradually waned into being a taxi in the streets of Kolkata.
Recently, ambassador became the hot news of the city again when Hindustan Motors announced that Peugeot SA group, a French Automobile Company is acquiring Ambassador brand for Rs.80crore. The generation of ambassador lovers were once again filled up with nostalgia and ecstasy, reminiscing their good old memories with this car.
The first model rolled out in 1957. Gradually, the vehicle was elated to a powerful symbol of the country. Ambassador in its good old days had served as official car for the country’s president, prime-minister and even bureaucratic class. But after 1984, it started to lose its charm. Its sales were reduced from 24,000 units a year in the 1980s to mere 2,300 units in 2013-2014, compelling Hindustan Motors to put its production to a halt.
Entering the country with a relaunch of ambassador is certainly no easy a task. In order to revive the brand, the french company have to take some tough decisions in order to turn it into a success. The iconic brand which was a marquee once exist today only in old photographs. The company not only has to work on improving its efficiency with latest technology in hands but also on contemporary looks. Moreover, history has witnessed Companies making many unsuccessful attempts in reviving well established brands. Very few of these brands have proved lucky stars for these companies.
Only time will tell if Peugeot will be successful in bringing back ambassador out on the roads again or whether this endeavour will go futile.