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India
Pictures | Mon May 26, 2014 | 11:25am IST

Adieu, Ambassador

Employees hold placards as they sit on a protest outside Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. The maker of the iconic Ambassador has halted production of the car that was long the choice of Indian officialdom, citing weak demand and a lack of funds, casting doubt on the future of a vehicle that has looked essentially the same for more than five decades. Hindustan Motors Ltd said in a statement that it had suspended work at its Uttarpara plant until further notice. Modelled after the British Morris Oxford, the Ambassador was the first car to be made in India and was once a status symbol, but began losing its dominance in the mid-1980s when Maruti Suzuki introduced its low-priced 800 hatchback. The placards read: (Front L-R) "Employees be aware of owner's spies, they are roaming here and there. Employees have to be strong, don't listen to others", "How without any legal notice, owner's pasted suspension notice?", "Employees of the closed factory, be together in the command of INTTUC" and "We demand re-opening of the factory". REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Employees hold placards as they sit on a protest outside Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. The maker of the iconic Ambassador has halted production of the car that was long the choice of Indian officialdom, citing weak...more

Employees hold placards as they sit on a protest outside Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. The maker of the iconic Ambassador has halted production of the car that was long the choice of Indian officialdom, citing weak demand and a lack of funds, casting doubt on the future of a vehicle that has looked essentially the same for more than five decades. Hindustan Motors Ltd said in a statement that it had suspended work at its Uttarpara plant until further notice. Modelled after the British Morris Oxford, the Ambassador was the first car to be made in India and was once a status symbol, but began losing its dominance in the mid-1980s when Maruti Suzuki introduced its low-priced 800 hatchback. The placards read: (Front L-R) "Employees be aware of owner's spies, they are roaming here and there. Employees have to be strong, don't listen to others", "How without any legal notice, owner's pasted suspension notice?", "Employees of the closed factory, be together in the command of INTTUC" and "We demand re-opening of the factory". REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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A rickshaw puller waits for customers in front of the main gate of Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A rickshaw puller waits for customers in front of the main gate of Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A rickshaw puller waits for customers in front of the main gate of Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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A private security guard walks inside Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A private security guard walks inside Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A private security guard walks inside Hindustan Motors Ltd's Uttarpara plant near Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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A yellow ambassador taxi crosses the Vidyasagar Setu bridge in Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A yellow ambassador taxi crosses the Vidyasagar Setu bridge in Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A yellow ambassador taxi crosses the Vidyasagar Setu bridge in Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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A mechanic repairs a yellow ambassador taxi at a workshop in Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A mechanic repairs a yellow ambassador taxi at a workshop in Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A mechanic repairs a yellow ambassador taxi at a workshop in Kolkata May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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Sumitra Sarkar, 35, cleans a yellow ambassador taxi at a parking area along a roadside in Kolkata March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Sumitra Sarkar, 35, cleans a yellow ambassador taxi at a parking area along a roadside in Kolkata March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Sumitra Sarkar, 35, cleans a yellow ambassador taxi at a parking area along a roadside in Kolkata March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files
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Sumitra Sarkar, 35, cleans a yellow ambassador taxi at a parking area along a roadside in Kolkata March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Sumitra Sarkar, 35, cleans a yellow ambassador taxi at a parking area along a roadside in Kolkata March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Sumitra Sarkar, 35, cleans a yellow ambassador taxi at a parking area along a roadside in Kolkata March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files
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Bullet-proof Ambassador cars, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, which are used by the government officials, are parked beside newly constructed flats built for Kashmiri Hindu or Pandit migrants during the inauguration ceremony of the Jagti Township on the outskirts of Jammu March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta/Files

Bullet-proof Ambassador cars, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, which are used by the government officials, are parked beside newly constructed flats built for Kashmiri Hindu or Pandit migrants during the inauguration ceremony of the Jagti Township...more

Bullet-proof Ambassador cars, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, which are used by the government officials, are parked beside newly constructed flats built for Kashmiri Hindu or Pandit migrants during the inauguration ceremony of the Jagti Township on the outskirts of Jammu March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta/Files
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A driver sleeps inside his parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

A driver sleeps inside his parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

A driver sleeps inside his parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files
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A driver stands next to his parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

A driver stands next to his parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

A driver stands next to his parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files
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An ice-cream seller walks past a parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

An ice-cream seller walks past a parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files

An ice-cream seller walks past a parked Ambassador car, manufactured by Hindustan Motors, in Kolkata April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files
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A camel pulls a cart with the burnt shell of an Ambassador car after rioting on the streets of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, March 7, 2002. REUTERS/Pawel KopczynskiJIR/DL/Files

A camel pulls a cart with the burnt shell of an Ambassador car after rioting on the streets of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, March 7, 2002. REUTERS/Pawel KopczynskiJIR/DL/Files

A camel pulls a cart with the burnt shell of an Ambassador car after rioting on the streets of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, March 7, 2002. REUTERS/Pawel KopczynskiJIR/DL/Files
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Visitors inspect the Classic Luxury edition of the Ambassador car during the6th Auto Expo in New Delhi January 16, 2002. REUTERS/Pawel KopczynskiPK/TAN/JD/Files

Visitors inspect the Classic Luxury edition of the Ambassador car during the6th Auto Expo in New Delhi January 16, 2002. REUTERS/Pawel KopczynskiPK/TAN/JD/Files

Visitors inspect the Classic Luxury edition of the Ambassador car during the6th Auto Expo in New Delhi January 16, 2002. REUTERS/Pawel KopczynskiPK/TAN/JD/Files
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Rabi Bhowmik tests the headlights on an Ambassador inside the Hindustan Motors plant in Hindmotors, 40 km north of Calcutta. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw/Files

Rabi Bhowmik tests the headlights on an Ambassador inside the Hindustan Motors plant in Hindmotors, 40 km north of Calcutta. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw/Files

Rabi Bhowmik tests the headlights on an Ambassador inside the Hindustan Motors plant in Hindmotors, 40 km north of Calcutta. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw/Files
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Ambassador cars gather at the assembly line of Hindustan Motors in Uttarpara, near Calcutta, Jan 14, 1998. REUTERS/Files

Ambassador cars gather at the assembly line of Hindustan Motors in Uttarpara, near Calcutta, Jan 14, 1998. REUTERS/Files

Ambassador cars gather at the assembly line of Hindustan Motors in Uttarpara, near Calcutta, Jan 14, 1998. REUTERS/Files
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