Hindustan Motors, the brand behind the iconic Ambassador car has decided to re-enter the market in one of the toughest EV segments: electric two-wheelers. The company expects to set up a new joint venture with a European partner to manufacture electric two-wheelers. Despite being late to the party, Hindustan Motors plans to produce the first electric scooters as early as next year. Also Read - Mahindra’s five new electric SUVs to be unveiled on August 15: Watch teaser video
According to a report by PTI, the companies will have to go through a process of checks and balances before the partnership is official. First, the financial due diligence of both the companies will start in July, which will take two months. Once that is done, the technical aspects of the joint venture will be looked into and this will take another month, according to the Director of Hindustan Motors, Uttam Bose. After this step, the structuring of investments will be decided and the new company will finally be formed. This process is expected to be completed by February 15. Also Read - Seven electric bikes catch fire while charging in Pune
Bose claimed that after the formation of the new entity, two more quarters will be required to initiate the pilot run of the project. He dropped a major hint at the launch date as well. He claimed that the final product is likely to be launched by the end of next fiscal year. The decision doesn’t stop at two-wheelers. The company is also eyeing the electric four-wheeler segment. Also Read - Amazon India and Magenta EV partner to deploy electric vehicles, charging infra
“After two years of commercialisation of the two-wheeler project, a decision will be taken on the manufacture of four-wheeler EVs,” the official said.
Bose also said its Uttarpara plant will have to be retro-fitted, as some of the control systems, along with electronic hardware and software, need replacement.
Bose described the integrated facility of Hindustan Motors. He claimed that it is the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the country, having its own forging, foundry and paint shop, as well as assembly and welding shop in the Uttarpara facility.
However, the company closed down the plant in 2014 due to lack of demand for ‘Ambassador’ cars, and subsequently 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. “Hindustan Motors is making profits now and is a complete debt-free company,” Bose said.