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HM to launch retro Amby by year-end, Avigo likely name Source: Economic Times
Nov 12, 2003. 
AFTER the launch of the Ambassador Grand in August this year, Hindustan Motors is gearing up for the launch of another variant, the retro Ambassador, by the year-end. Though company officials are silent on the name of the new model, it is believed that the retro Ambassador will be named Avigo.

"The retro Ambassador will be a fashion statement with qualities of comfort, safety and style built into the product. The new variant of HM's old workhorse is being positioned as the car for 'people with attitude' and targeted at government babus, private sector employees and the younger generation," HM's general manager-corporate communications Soni Srivastava told ET.

While Ambassador Grand, with its contemporary features, is a testimony to the efforts in reviving the brand, the new variant is being positioned as one with technological upgradations worked into the core design, the official said.

Ms Srivastava said pricing details were still being finalised for the details were petrol versions of the new model. It is estimated that 'Avigo' will be priced marginally above Rs 5 lakh. HM had introduced 137 new features in the Grand, while the features in Avigo would include improved upholstery, power steering, power brakes, remote shift gear, new grille and transparent headlamps.

With monthly sales of above 1,000 units per month, HM sold 13,119 units of Ambassador and 7,635 vehicles of Lancer in 2002-03. Ms Srivastava said the company expects to sell about 2,000 Ambassador Grands before March 2004. About 65% of Ambassador sales come from the taxi segment, while institutional purchases account for another 16%.

Meanwhile, the successful launch of Lancer Exel in a limited version has prompted HM to prepare for the launch of a new powerful version of Lancer in the first quarter of 2004. The limited version of Lancer has 200 units for sale, for which the response from the western region has been encouraging, Ms Srivastava said.

Embarking on an aggressive growth strategy, HM is placing enhanced focus on dealer network expansion to support Lancer's growth. Under the new format, the company's sales, service and spares activities are being clubbed under one roof to provide one-stop service to the customers. From a network of 40 dealers, the company plans to expand the dealership to 60 in two years time.

HM has also strengthened its position in the passenger mini bus segment with the launch of the Cosmo in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. To push sales in the segment, HM is rolling out factory-built bodies for rural transport vehicles, unlike the previous practice of pushing chassis into the market. The Cosmo model will be launched in Punjab and Tamil Nadu before March 2004.

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