Press Esc to close
Saturday 02 August 2014
News updated at 3:33 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27.4°C
Min : 20.5°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

Ambassador car ranked the best taxi in the world by Top Gear

New Delhi, Jul 21, 2013 (PTI):
A driver manually operates fare meter on his taxi. Reuters

It may have lost out to the more modern competitors from Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda but the good old Ambassador car, that once ruled the roost in India, has just been voted as the world's best taxi by global automotive programme Top Gear.

In a show, which is being aired on the BBC, Top Gear's executive director Richard Hammond organised a world taxi shootout in which Ambassador emerged a winner, beating competitors from all over the globe.

"The winner was India's virtually indestructible Hindustan Ambassador," UK-based motor museum Beaulieu, where the 'World of Top Gear' featuring vehicles from some of the most ambitious challenges are also showcased, said in a statement.


This particular example proved just how enduring the Ambassador really is when it saw off rivals from Britain, America, Germany, South Africa, Mexico and Russia to be named the world's best taxi, it added.

The Hindustan Ambassador started life in Britain as the Morris Oxford but, with a quick name change, it went on to become one of India's most enduring vehicles.

"It's (Ambassador) so tough that, although it now lives in World of Top Gear, with a quick wash and brush up, it could be back in service tomorrow – probably," the statement said.

In 1948, CK Birla Group firm Hindustan Motors Ltd began the production of the Ambassador at Uttarpara in Hooghly district, West Bengal.

Till the arrival of the Maruti in the early 80s, the Ambassador was the status symbol in India. Gradually it lost out to various global competitors when it came to personal usage but continued to be the favourite vehicle for government officials and also in the taxi segment.

In the recent past, its sales in both the segments have shown a decline and in 2012-13, the Ambassador sold a total of just 3,390 units. This fiscal, it has sold only 709 units in the April-June period.  

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Ashish Kumar of India performs during the men's individual floor exercise final in the artistic...

Ashish Kumar of India performs during the men's individual floor exercise final in the artistic...

Rebecca Downie of England performs during the women's gymnastics uneven bars apparatus final at...

Rebecca Downie of England performs during the women's gymnastics uneven bars apparatus final at...

A jumper raises sand during the women's long jump final at Hampden Park Stadium during the...

A jumper raises sand during the women's long jump final at Hampden Park Stadium during the...

Roseline Filion of Canada competes in the women's 10m Platform final at the 2014 Commonwealth...

Roseline Filion of Canada competes in the women's 10m Platform final at the 2014 Commonwealth...

Rasheed Dwyer, centre of Jamaica, leads home a Jamaica 1, 2, 3, with Warren Weir, right, who...

Rasheed Dwyer, centre of Jamaica, leads home a Jamaica 1, 2, 3, with Warren Weir, right, who...

England's David Weir wins the men's para-sport 1500m T54 finals in the athletics competition at...

England's David Weir wins the men's para-sport 1500m T54 finals in the athletics competition at...

Botswana's Nijel Amos wins the men's 800m final in the athletics competition at Hampden Park...

Botswana's Nijel Amos wins the men's 800m final in the athletics competition at Hampden Park...

Indian wrestlers (L-R) Pawan Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Geetika and Yogeshwar Dutt medals at the...

Indian wrestlers (L-R) Pawan Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Geetika and Yogeshwar Dutt medals at the...

India's Pawan Kumar celebrates after winning a bronze medal against Pakistan's Muhammad Inam...

India's Pawan Kumar celebrates after winning a bronze medal against Pakistan's Muhammad Inam...

India's Vikas Shive Gowda poses with his gold medal after the medal ceremony of men's discus...

India's Vikas Shive Gowda poses with his gold medal after the medal ceremony of men's discus...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523