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Ambassador could morph into Peugeot's Dacia rival.

PSA Peugeot-Citroen has purchased the rights to the Ambassador name from India's Hindustan Motors.The roughly $12 million deal includes the Ambassador name and all related trademarks. Hindustan will use the proceeds from the sale to pay employees and lenders, a company spokesperson told the Times of India.

Peugeot hasn't revealed what it plans on doing with its latest acquisition. It recently formed an alliance with CK Birla Group, Hindustan Motors' parent company, to manufacture cars in India, so some models built for the local market could wear an Ambassador emblem. It could also turn Ambassador into a low-cost brand similar to rival Renault's Dacia division and Nissan's born-again Datsun brand.

What's all but certain is that Peugeot won't bring back the emblematic Ambassador (pictured), which was an evolution of the Morris Oxford that debuted in England in 1954. It was one of India's most popular cars decades ago, but sales collapsed in the late 2000s and early 2010s because visual and mechanical tweaks could no longer hide its age.

The last Ambassador rolled out of Hindustan's Uttarpara factory in 2014. At the time, the company blamed the decision to stop production on "very low productivity, growing indiscipline, critical shortage of funds, lack of demand for its core product, and large accumulation of liabilities," according to The Economic Times.

Photo by Ronan Glon.
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