Contessa Club


Hindustan Motors History

Posted by PS on April 6, 2010 at 1:54 AM

Hindustan Motors is an automobile manufacturer from 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 is the producer of the Ambassador car, widely used as a taxicab and as a government limousine. This car is based on the Morris Oxford, a British car that dates back to 1954.

One of the original three car manufacturers in India, founded in 1942 by Mr. B.M. Birla[1], it was a leader in car sales until the 1980s, when the industry was opened up from protection. It began in Port Okha near Gujarat, and in 1948, moved to Uttarpara, West Bengal.



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. GM bought out the Halol, Gujarat plant from Hindustan in 1999.[2]


[Earthmoving Equipment Division (HMEED)

Hindustan motors used to make earthmovers initially in collaboration with Terex, USA and Fermac UK and later with Caterpillar Inc. since 1984 at the HMEED plants in Thiruvallur near Chennai and Pondicherry. It 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. [3]


Isuzu Joint Venture

Hindustan formed a collaboration with Isuzu to maufacture engines and transmission for the Contessa in late 1980s at Pithambur 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 procuction line to power the Contessa and the Ambassador. The techincal 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 1990s. 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 since HML could not sell them for an affordable price. [4]


Mitsubishi Joint Venture

Hindustan has a joint venture with Mitsubishi that started 1998. The plant is located in Thiruvallur, Tamilnadu.

Models produced include:

Sixth generation Mitsubishi Lancer with Invecs

Seventh generation Mitsubishi Lancer with climate control, touch navigation and Ralliart accessories

Second generation Mitsubishi Pajero

Second generation Mitsubishi Outlander

Fourth generation Pajero (known as Mitsubishi Outlander)



Models currently manufactured by Hindustan Motors are :

Hindustan Ambassador - The Ambassador design is based on the British 1954 Morris Oxford.

Hindustan Winner a small truck with 1.8L petrol/CNG engine or 1.5L Diesel engine

MASCOT T-480 FC - commercial truck.

RTV - trucks made in collaboration with OKA Motor Company, Australia. This truck can be adapted for school bus, ambulance, etc.

Models discontinued by Hindustan Motors are :

Hindustan Contessa - based on the British Vauxhall Victor, which ceased production in 1978, but with an Isuzu G180W engine.

Hindustan Pushpak, Trekker and Porter - Multiutility Vehicles based on Ambassador chassis and engines.

Bedford TJ

Isuzu F series - JCS



Uttarpara, West Bengal (near Kolkata)

Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh (near Indore)

Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu (near Chennai)

Hosur, Tamil Nadu (near Bangalore)

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