Hindustan Motors, manufacturers of the Ambassador (based on a 1950s Morris design), posted a 2004-05 first quarter net loss of €4.37 million (INR 244.6 million).

With no new models to launch, and the Mitsubishi Lancer already facelifted several times, HM has been consistently losing share in its market segments.

Two recently facelifted versions of the ancient Hindustan have not helped improve sales, either.

The company recently has been trying to lease out its modern assembly line near Chennai where the Lancer is made but nothing has materialised despite talks with Proton, Tata and BMW.

The only business unit earning money for HM is the Pithampur facility that assembles engines and transmissions for Ford, GM and Mahindra.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup