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Hindustan Motors is an Indian automotive manufacturer based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is a part of the Birla Technical Services industrial group. The company was the largest car manufacturer in India before the rise of Maruti Udyog.

Hindustan Motor Limited
Founded1942; 77 years ago (1942)
FounderB.M. Birla
HeadquartersKolkata, India
Key people
Uttam Bose, (MD)
Automotive parts
Revenue 7.79 billion (2011) Edit this on Wikidata

Hindustan Motors was the producer of the Ambassador motorcar, which was once a mainstream car in India, based on 1956 Morris Oxford series III and was in production from 1957 until 2014. Production of the Ambassador ceased on 24 May 2014.[1]

One of the original three car manufacturers in India, founded in 1942 by Mr. B.M. Birla,[2] 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 who stepped down from the post on 21 February 2012.[3]

On 11 February 2017, Hindustan Motors executed an agreement with Peugeot SA for the sale of the Ambassador brand, including the trademarks, for a consideration of Rs 80 crore.[4] The tie-up entails two joint venture agreements between the companies of the two groups.



1948 Hindustan 10

Hindustan Motors Limited (HML), was once India's pioneering automobile manufacturing company. It was established just before Indian independence, in 1942 by Mr. B. M. Birla of the industrialist Birla family in collaboration with Lord Nuffield of Morris Motors who were already selling their cars in India. 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 Morris designed Hindustan Ambassador. The HM-Mitsubishi Motors Plant is in Tiruvallur near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Morris Motors joint ventureEdit

Hindustan Ambassador, later model

Post-Independence in 1948, vehicle production was shifted to a new green field plant spread over a large area in Uttarpara, West Bengal. The first car to roll out from the Uttarpara plant was the Hindustan 10, based on the Morris 10.Then after Hindustan 14 and baby Hindustan were also rolled out based on Morris 14 and Morris minor respectively.In 1954 Hindustan launched the Morris Oxford series II derived Hindustan Landmaster and in 1957 the Hindustan Ambassador was launched which was based on the Morris Oxford series III. This first model later known as Mark-1, whose basic design remained unchanged was manufactured until 2015 with various model changes on facelifts, engines and later with power steering, disc brakes, etc.

General Motors joint ventureEdit

Hindustan Contessa Classic 1988
Bedford TJ manufactured by HM in India

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 manufacture Opel Astra cars in the newly created mid-segment category. The production of the Astra was phased out and later replaced by the then successful Opel Corsa family of vehicles. In early 1999 General Motors India bought out the Halol, Gujarat, plant from Hindustan Motors thus ending a long partnership.[5]

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.[6]

Earthmoving Equipment Division (HMEED)Edit

Hindustan motors used to make earthmovers, initially in collaboration with Terex, USA and Fermac UK; and beginning in 1984 with Caterpillar Inc. at the HMEED plants in Thiruvallur, near Chennai and Pondicherry. The operation was sold to Caterpillar in 2000 and HM quit the earthmover business. HML continue to be a joint venture partner with Caterpillar in Hindustan Power Plus, which manufactures diesel engines and generator sets.

Hindustan TractorsEdit

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.[7] 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.[8]

Isuzu Joint VentureEdit

In 1982 Hindustan formed a collaboration with Isuzu to assemble and sell the Isuzu F series - JCS trucks in India. These trucks came from the factory with a fully built modern 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 HML not being able to sell them for an affordable price.[9]

Similar looking 1982 Isuzu Forward JCR500S

Hindustan Motors also entered into a technical collaboration to manufacture engines and transmissions for the Contessa in the late 1980s at a newly constructed state of the art engine plant at Pithampur near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The petrol engine commonly known as Isuzu 1.8 Petrol would later serve in the Hindustan Ambassador with Multi Point Fuel Injection until 2015. Initially the joint venture produced 4-cylinder G180Z 1.8L petrol engines and 5-speed transmissions. Later, an 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, Ford and Mahindra.

Mitsubishi Joint VentureEdit

The 6th generation Mitsubishi Lancer had a long production run in India.

Hindustan has a joint venture with Mitsubishi that began in 1998. The plant is located in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu. The mid-size SUV Pajero Sport was manufactured until 2016. In India, Mitsubishi had ruled the automotive industry in 2000 with the Mitsubishi Lancer Slxd diesel 2.0l engine and slxi 1.5l petrol with upscale amenities like stereo systems with cassette and cd changers, automatic controllable/foldable mirrors, leather seats, cup holders, defoggers, 5-speed manual transmissions, rally based body chassis as it was based on the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution which exceeded what Indian manufacturers were offering, but as time went by, their sales trended down due to poor engine/ transmission combinations for the Indian market. But since launching a redesigned Pajero sport in 2012, Mitsubishi has managed to retain their fame. This new SUV hosts a 2.5l DI-D Variable Geometrical Turbo Diesel engine mated to a 5-speed AT or MT. But 4WD was available only on the manual version, and 2WD is offered on the automatic version. Though the redesigned Pajero Sport was initially launched in 2010 for other worldwide markets, its design still retains a modern quality in the Indian market. The Pajero Sport received a cosmetic update in late 2014 with refreshed bumpers, front grille, tailgates and interior. The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is a competitor to SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, etc.


Hindustan modelsEdit

Discontinued modelsEdit

Passenger VehiclesEdit

Commercial VehiclesEdit

Former/idle PlantsEdit

Built in the 1980s it was a state of art robotic engine assembly plant as well as commercial truck assembly line for[clarification needed] then launched Isuzu F Series trucks. Later RTV & Winner were assembled here.

Built for Off-Highway vehicles.

Oldest plant built in 1948, all Hindustan Ambassador badge vehicles were manufactured here.

Built in the late 1990s for Mitsubishi range, later in 2015 started assembly for ISUZU vehicles till January 2016 when Isuzu moved to its new plant at Sricity in Andhra Pradesh.


  1. ^ "Hindustan Motors terminates 240 managerial staff". Indian Express. 7 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Hindustan Motors map, Hindustan Motors india, Hindustan Motors Limited, First Indian Car Company". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Hindustan Motors MD Jha resigns". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  4. ^ Staff, Scroll. "Hindustan Motors sells Ambassador brand to Peugeot for Rs 80 crore". Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  5. ^ "GM Motors, General Motors India, General Motors, General Motors Corporation". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Manoj Jha quits as Hind Motors' MD; Co reports net loss". Hindu Business Line.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2006. Retrieved 31 July 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Isuzu JCS Truck". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  11. ^ Hindustan Motors slams brakes on RTV

External linksEdit