Ambassador’s maker Hindustan Motors to start electric JV by next year

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Ambassador’s maker Hindustan Motors to start electric JV by next year

A senior official said that Hindustan Motors HM, the maker of the iconic Ambassador' cars, expects to start a new joint venture with a European partner to manufacture electric two-wheelers by next year.

He said that it might look at making electric four-wheelers at a later date.

The financial due diligence of both companies will start in July, which will take two months, after which the technical aspects of the joint venture will be looked into and this will take another month, Director of Hindustan Motors, Uttam Bose, told PTI.

He said that only the structuring of investments will be decided and the new company will be formed by February 15, and that is expected to be completed by February 15.

Bose said that two more quarters will be required to initiate the pilot run of the project after the formation of the new entity, and that the final product is likely to be launched by the end of next fiscal year.

After two years of commercialisation of the two-wheeler project, a decision will be made on the manufacture of four-wheeler EVs, the top company official said.

Bose said that its Uttarpara plant will have to be retrofitted, as some of the control systems, along with electronic hardware and software, need replacement.

He said HM was the only original equipment manufacturer in the country, having its own forging, foundry and paint shop, as well as assembly and welding shop, making the Uttarpara facility a fully integrated automobile plant.

In 2014, the company closed the plant due to lack of demand for Ambassador's cars, and sold the iconic brand to French auto manufacturer Peugeot at a realisation of Rs 80 crore. It has also sold its luxury car brand Contessa'' to SG Mobility.

The West Bengal government had allowed HM to sell around 314 acres of land at the Uttarpara plant for alternative use, following which the parcel had been sold to a real estate developer.

Bose said that Hindustan Motors is making profits and is a debt-free company.

Bose said that people will be chosen for the new project based on suitability, with a current employee strength of around 300.

He said that around 400 people will be employed in the project when commercial production begins.