Premier Automobiles might not be a company that many are aware of today. Though GenY can forget this, many must’ve actually seen this in the form of the Premier Padmini that was only competed by the Hindustan Motors Ambassador. Started by the Walchand Group, Premier Automobiles directed its success by creating licenced automobiles instead of relying on in house automobile engineering. It secured the licences to build the Plymouth, a Dodge truck. However the most successful licensed version for it proved to be the Fiat 1100D. The car was sold in the same design for decades ranging from the early 60s to the late 1990s. Fiat moved on to other vehicles so left the 1100D and Premier was not probably interested in upgrading it all by itself either. This is the time when Maruti 800 entered the market as well.
Post the 90s liberalization, Premier had an alliance with Peugeot to launch the Peugot 309 which, though was an old hag internationally, was relatively new in India. To Premier’s credit the car did receive welcoming response for internal struggle kept the car form being a massive hit. These internal strikes actually resulted in a wide range of allegations which ultimately pushed Premier to take things slow eventually.
It was in 2004 that the company formally restarted its operations by launching a diesel van based on Mitsubishi Varica’s design. After repeated attempts in finding its place in the ever increasing and expanding Indian automobile market, Premier finally launched its in compact SUV RiO which was undeniably ahead of its time. This was back when Ford EcoSport did not make the market thrive for the entire compact SUV segment. But the fact that the RiO was alleged to be a replica of Daihatsu’s Terios of 1980s is another reason people weren’t taking Premier seriously anymore. It’ll be great to see this Indian automobile giant create a vehicle from scratch and sell it across.