Ambassador Encore: The immortal

It may as well have been a clandestine operation unfolding in a dilapidated factory. It was dark and the main source of light was the sun shining through the smoked glass screen on the roof. The men were talking among themselves but all you could hear was the slamming of the heavy stamping machines. But straight off, you know there is nothing sinister happening as your eyes fall on the all-too-familiar Ambassador rear panel as it emerges from the machine. Welcome to Hindustan Motors.

Contrary to popular belief, HM still makes the Ambassador at its Uttarpara plant, outside Kolkata. Sure, the number of employees inside the 700-acre plant has dropped from a high of 23,000 to 3,500 today. And going by the amount of work we saw happening there, even that seems like a lot. For example, HM cranks out a similar production output with only 500 people at its modern plant near Chennai, where it contract manufactures the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and now, the Isuzu MU-7 and pick-up.