The latest timeline that Hindustan Motors has put on the launch of the BS4 emissions norm compliant, diesel engined Ambassador sedan, is June 2013. The arrival of the BS4 emission norms complaint diesel engine in the Hindustan Ambassador’s range will mean that the diesel version of the car can be registered across India. The taxi segment in Kolkata, a major market for the diesel engined Ambassador is expected to lap up the BS4 diesel engined version of the car. For now, the Ambassador continues to motor on in Kolkata, on the back of a special extension granted by the West Bengal government, allowing non BS4 versions of the car to be sold in that city.
A Hindustan Ambassador Taxi in Kolkata used as an illustration
Once the diesel engined Ambassador complies with BS4 emission norms, the car will emit lower diesel fumes and won’t be as polluting as it is currently. For its part, Hindustan Motors is betting big on the BS4 compliant Ambassador Diesel and hopes to boost sales of this ancient car in a big way. On the back of the BS4 Ambassador Diesel’s launch, Hindustan Motors hopes to sell 5,000 to 5,500 units of the car, a big step up from its current monthly average of 250-300 units. Early next year, Hindustan Motors is expected to launch the compact sedan variant of the Ambassador.
Many months ago, camouflaged test mules of the Ambassador with a shortened length were spotted in and around Pune. Early 2014 could be when Hindustan Motors launches the sub-4 meter Ambassador. The compact sedan variant of this car is expected to be priced more competitively than the full length sedan. The compact sedan could be another volumes puller for the Indian car brand. Currently, the Ambassador is available with BS4 compliant petrol and CNG engines. The car also sells with a 1.5 Liter diesel motor that is BS3 compliant.
Despite the impending arrival of the BS4 compliant diesel engine and the new compact sedan variant, the future of the Hindustan Ambassador looks bleak as even the traditional patrons of this car such as the Government of India and the various state governments have moved on to snazzier rides. Apart from the taxi segment in Kolkata, the Ambassador isn’t finding much favour amongst cab operators in other Indian cities. So, if Hindustan Motors doesn’t revamp the Ambassador thoroughly and arouse car buyer interest, the car’s days could very well be numbered.