Kolkata: Crisis-ridden Hindustan Motors, a C K Birla group company, is gearing up for the launch of a small car in the next fiscal, its MD and CEO Uttam Bose said on Tuesday.
The new sub-four meter small car will be manufactured on the Ambassador platform and will be only in sedan variant.
"The new car will be cheaper than the Ambassador because of its smaller length, which will attract less excise duty. However, its name is yet to be finalized," Bose said.
The initiative is a step towards revival of the company's fortunes, he said at the launch of Hindustan Motors' BS-IV 'Ambassador Encore' here.
'Ambassador Encore' has been priced at Rs 4.98 lakh to give a boost to the taxi segment, company sources said.
Launching the new model, West Bengal transport minister Madan Mitra hoped that it would raise the comfort level in the taxi segment.
"The overall bookings for BS-IV compliant 'Ambassador Encore' have crossed the 450 mark, but HM's target is to increase it to 2,000 units per month," Bose said.
With the launch of 'Ambassador Encore', the sale of cars by Hindustan Motors has once again opened in 17 cities, where sale of BS-III cars had been banned since April 2010.
Bose said the company made significant investment and got the right partners to foray into this new 1.5 litre BS-IV compliant diesel engine vehicle fitted with air conditioning and power steering for passenger comfort.
Taxi unions in the state have hailed the new vehicle describing it as the right choice at the moment.
Ambassador was recently awarded 'Best Taxi in the World' by global automotive programme Top Gear in London.
"Going by the present trends, HM will be able to make a turnaround within a few years," Bose said.
Mitra, also the state's sports minister, handed over a gift Ambassador car to Asha Roy of Singur for winning silver in the 200 m event in Asian Athletics Meet in Pune in July.