Ambassador is a car of nostalgia for many, especially those who used it for their regular outings, yesteryears.
It had been an icon of Indian roads with less or no rivals at all, until small foreign cars entered in the fray as the result of liberalisation.
Hindustan Motors began the production of Ambassadors in 1957 and the brand ruled the road for long time as taxis and rich man’s pompous rider.
When its demand recorded huge fall in the market since the emergence of ultra modern cars, the company stopped its manufacturing in 2014.
However, there are some ambis, left in Kozhikode and there are some people who still vouch for this ‘old horse’.
Mohandas is a taxi driver at the Kozhikode Railway Station. He has been using his ‘royal brand’ since last thirty five years.
He says there are only three ambassadors at the railway station taxi stand and shares his concern that he doesn’t know when the remaining cars will disappear from the scene.
“Majority prefer new generation cars for their travel.
Amby is their last choice.
However, here at the railway station, there is a queue system for taxis. It is the only hope for Ambassadors. Travellers have no other option if we are going next in order.”
“Another important factor is that passengers, coming with heavy luggage wait for our turn because Ambassadors have large cabin for luggage than modern day small cars.
Actually, this car is spacious and comfortable for travelling. Seven people can travel, smoothly.
Still, there are some draw backs also.”
Mohandas points out in his experience that poor mileage is a real concern on the part of taxi drivers. Lack of maintenance facility is another task. If you fail on the way, it would be tough to get it repaired.”
“In the safety measures also, ambassador has many advantages. Its heavy metallic frontage resists the car from collisions and minimize casualties, during accidents. On the other hand, new generation cars use light body techniques and a major crash can burst a modern car into pieces.”
“Availability of spare parts is not a problem.
Ambassadors stopped its production only recently and until then there were many new customers.
And the company is continuing its commitment to deliver spare parts.”-says Mohandas.