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Premier Ltd. was an Indian automaker with headquarters in Mumbai, India, and was originally known as The Premier Automobiles Limited. The Walchand Group owns the business. In 1944, Walchand Hirachand founded the Premier Automobiles Ltd. (PAL) with Sir. M. Visvesvaraya's encouragement and assistance. In 1903, the firm was established as Walchand-Phatak Co. TATA Constructions was later added to the name. After TATA's departure, the company's name was once more changed to Premier, which was active in the contracting and building industries. The first trucks and vehicles constructed in India were pushed out onto the streets of a free India in October 1947 by Premier Ltd. The Premier Padmini, which dominated the Indian auto industry and reached its height of popularity in the 1970s, is widely known for Premier.


The business was founded in 1941 and negotiated with Chrysler Corporation for rights to produce a Plymouth automobile and a Dodge truck, which were marketed beginning in 1949 under the brands Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, and Fargo. Quality was first regarded favorably by Chrysler and the Indian Department of Defense. India began producing parts in 1949, starting with basic parts and progressing to more complicated ones. Parts for these cars were produced by Premier and Hindustan Motors of Calcutta.

Due to the small size of the market, Premier and Hindustan experienced relatively poor sales in their early years. Only 20,000 cars were produced in India annually in 65 distinct variants. The government imposed high import charges on imported parts in 1954 to stop foreign firms from dominating by mass-producing components that would be assembled into automobiles in India. This allowed Indian component manufacturers to thrive.

Beginning in 1964 and continuing mostly unaltered till the late 1990s, Premier manufactured a Fiat 1100 D variant under license. The automobile, which had a 40 horsepower (30 kW) 1100 cc engine and was built in the now-defunct Kurla plant in suburban Mumbai, was first advertised as a Fiat ("1100 Delight") and then as the Premier Padmini. Later versions included the Fiat 124-based Premier 118NE (called after its 1171 cc Nissan A12 engine and equipped with a Nissan Cherry gearbox), which was produced in the then-new (but now-defunct) Kalyan facility. Up until the 1990s, the 118NE was regarded as a mid-size luxury vehicle in India.

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