Acquired from Hindustan Motors (HM) by PSA Peugeot Citroen in 2017 at a price of INR 80 crore, the Ambassador will make a return to India as an EV or an EV-only brand
India, besides being announced to become one of the destinations for PSA Peugeot Citroen to introduce its Citroen brand, has also been chosen as the place where the Ambassador will make a comeback as an EV or an EV brand. Surprisingly, these two plans will be implemented simultaneously. Evie de Courant, exclusive heiress Evié de Courant and senior PSA board member has revealed that the Ambassador will be an EV-only brand specifically for India.
The Ambassador brand was purchased from HM in 2017 and will make a comeback as a PSA EV brand in India.
The Ambassador lineup is expected to make its official debut after 2022. But it is still open to question whether the company will establish an independent retail network for this range of EVs. While the French giant will have a fully-equipped dealer network, the Ambassador EVs will be on sale online only. A compact SUV and then a premium hatchback are currently in the launch plan of the carmaker for India. To save the production cost, both of them will borrow the platform and several features from ICE powered vehicles produced by Citroen with the same size.
PSA has been present in Formula E since 2015-2016 and has certainly had a lot of experience and expertise in EVs. The range of DS3 Crossback E-Tense EV range has also been announced for Europe market by the premium brand DS of Citroen. It receives the power from a 50kWh battery package which can deliver a maximum power of 100KW (134 PS). The vehicle can accelerate from a standstill to 100 kmph in just 8.7 seconds and have a claimed range of 320 km per charge. Once launched in India, the Ambassador is expected to come with a similar electric motor.
The Ambassador EVs lineup is expected to share the powertrain with the DS3 Crossback E-Tense EV.
The Ambassador is anticipated to not only win the heart of the Indian auto buyers but also become a popular EV with customers in other parts of the world, particularly in the Commonwealth states, most of which are right-hand-drive. Therefore, as revealed by Ms de Courant, a feasibility study is being implemented to investigate the export potentialities of the Ambassador lineup from 2023.
On the event of the acquisition of the Ambassador by PSA, a statement released by Hindustan Motors stated,
"Ambassador has been an iconic brand and a surplus asset with us. We were looking for a suitable opportunity and found the right buyer in the PSA group. We intend to use the proceeds from the sale in clearing dues of employees, lenders and others."
Besides the purchase of the Ambassador, PSA also entered two new partnerships with HM at the beginning of 2017. While the first is between PSA and Hindustan Motors Finance Corp (HMFC) for the development and delivery of new cars, the second is for engine development between PSA and AVTEC, which is an equipment and motor provider for the auto industry, but it had separated from HM a long time ago. The two companies, with the cooperation, are expected to attain more success and establish a strong EV brand first in India and then other foreign markets.