Hindustan Ambassador Government Vehicle

Think of a government vehicle and the white Hindustan Ambassador with the prestigious red light automatically comes to mind. Serving our ministers, bureaucrats and other government officials for the longest period of time, the Amby made a cult of its own as a government vehicle, more so because of an illustrious heritage to fall back on. However, with Hindustan Motors having bid adieu to the Ambassador earlier this year, it is now time for change in the ministry and for the government officials to get new rides with the red light to ferry them around.

With the Amby out of production now, the finance ministry has stated that cars with a net dealer price of up to Rs. 4.75 lakhs can be purchased as staff cars by ministries. The latest directive makes it clear that the government offices can replace the Ambassador completely with other cars. However, the choice of the car will be decided on several parameters including price availability, ease of maintenance, service facility in the specific location of the office, fuel economy, eco-friendliness and so on.

The earlier presidents and prime ministers chose to opt for more reliable and safe rides over a decade ago and opted for the fully armoured BMW 7-Series and X5 SUVs, over the Ambassador. Many ministers and staff members presently have already made the transition with the more reliable and modern vehicles like the Maruti Suzuki DZire, SX4 as well as the Tata Indigo being the popular choices. As per the 2004 list of approved vehicles however, the official vehicles have to be either the Maruti Esteem (discontinued) or the Tata Indigo.

With the price cap specified, the staff members and ministers get a plethora of options in the A and B segments that include hatchbacks and certain compact sedans from a variety of manufacturers. Even though these vehicles may not beat the Amby in terms of prestige, they do fit in all other parameters of providing ease of maintenance, low running costs, improved fuel economy and hassle free ownership. While the options are many, Maruti takes the cake here too, being already favoured by the ministries.

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Source – Financial Express