Hindustan Motors History
Hindustan Motors is an Indian automotive manufacturer based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is part of the Birla Technical Services industrial group. The company was the largest car manufacturer in India before the rise of Maruti Udyog.
It was the producer of the Ambassador motorcar, widely used as a taxicab and as a government limousine. This car is based on the Morris Oxford, a British automobile dating to 1954. Production of the Ambassador ceased on 24 May 2014.
One of the original three car manufacturers in India, founded in 1942 by Mr. B. M. Birla,it was a leader in car sales until the 1980s, when the industry was opened up from protection. All through its history, the company has depended on government patronage for its sales and for survival by eliminating competition. Manoj Jha was the Managing Director and R. Yeshwanth. Manoj Jha stepped down from the post on 21 February 2012. It began in Port Okha near Gujarat; in 1948, it moved to West Bengal. The place is now called Hindmotor.
Hindustan Motors Limited (HML), India's pioneering automobile manufacturing company and flagship company of the C.K. Birla Group was established just before Indian independence, in 1942 by Mr. B. M. Birla of the industrialist Birla family. Commencing operations in a small assembly plant in Port Okha near Gujarat, the manufacturing facilities later moved to Uttarpara, West Bengal in 1948, where it began the production of the Ambassador. The HM-Mitsubishi Motors Plant is in Tiruvallur near Chennai.
General Motors joint venture
Hindustan and General Motors have had several tie-ups in the post independence era to produce Bedford Trucks, Vauxhall Motors (1980 to 1990), Allison Transmissions and off-road equipment. In 1994, GM and Hindustan (C K Birla) formed a 50-50 joint venture, General Motors India to make Opel Astra cars which turned out to a disaster mainly due to the reputation Hindustan Motors has in India. The production of Astra was wound up within a few years. GM bought out the Halol, Gujarat, plant from Hindustan in 1999. On 21 February 2012, Mr. Manoj Jha, the Managing Director stepped down from his post. The decision was unanimously accepted by the board of directors.
The company began in 1959 as Tractors and Bulldozers Private Ltd and imported tractors. Manufacturing of tractors began in 1963, in collaboration Motokov-Praha (Zetor) of Czechoslovakia, and was known as Hindustan Tractors & Bulldozers Ltd. In 1967, it became Hindustan Tractors Ltd. The tractors were based on the Zetor tractor design and sold under the Hindustan brand. In 1978, the Gujarat, Indian government formed Gujarat Tractors from the ailing company. In 1999, Mahindra Tractors purchased 60% of the company, and in 2001, completed purchasing the rest of the company, renaming it Mahindra Gujarat Tractors Ltd.
Isuzu Joint Venture
Hindustan formed a collaboration with Isuzu to manufacture engines and transmission for the Contessa in late 1980s at Pithampur near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Initially the joint venture made a 4-cylinder G180Z 1.8L petrol engines and 5-speed transmissions. Later, a 2.0L Isuzu diesel engine was added to the production line to power the Contessa and the Ambassador. The technical collaboration lasted from 1983 to 1993. The Indore plant has since expanded to manufacture engines for a number of other manufacturers like Opel and Mahindra.
HML also assembled and sold a small number of Isuzu F series - JCS trucks in India in the early-mid 1980s. These trucks came from the factory with a fully built metal cabin which was not common with Tata and Ashok Leyland trucks at the time. They were well known for their reliability and fuel consumption, but were discontinued mainly due to falling sales poor service facilities and since HML could not sell them for an affordable price.
Mitsubishi Joint Venture
Hindustan has a joint venture with Mitsubishi that started 1998. The plant is located in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu and mainly makes outdated models wound up by Mitsubishi elsewhere.
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (Lancer Evo X)
- Mitsubishi Lancer (Seventh generation Lancer)
- Mitsubishi Cedia (Eighth generation Lancer)
- Mitsubishi Pajero (Second generation Pajero)
- Mitsubishi Montero (Fourth generation Pajero)
- Mitsubishi Outlander (Second generation Outlander)
- Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (Mitsubishi Pajero Sport)
- Hindustan Winner a small truck with 1.8L petrol/CNG engine or 1.5L Diesel engine in collaboration with Shandong Shifeng of China
- MASCOT T-480 FC - commercial truck.
- RTV Ranger - trucks made in collaboration with OKA Motor Company, Australia. This truck can be adapted for school bus, ambulance, etc. Production was discontinued in 2008.
- Hindustan 10 - based on 1947 Morris 10
- Hindustan 122 based on 1948 Morris Oxford MO Series
- Hindustan Landmaster- based on Morris Oxford Series II - 1954
- Hindustan Ambassador
- Hindustan Contessa - based on the British Vauxhall Victor FE with Isuzu diesel or petrol engines.
- Hindustan Pushpak, Trekker and Porter - Multiutility Vehicles based on Ambassador chassis and engines (Half Ton Driveaway Chassis).
- Bedford TJ
- Isuzu F series - JCS
1969 Hindustan Ambassador Mk-II