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Peugeot buys iconic Indian car brand

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JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

French car manufacturer Peugeot has bought India's most iconic car brand from its maker Hindustan Motors in a deal that signifies the passing of an era in India's motoring history.

Over the weekend, the C.K. Birla Group that owns Hindustan Motors said it had signed an agreement with Peugeot SA to sell the Ambassador for 800 million rupees ($12 million).

The hulking Ambassador sedan, once used by prime ministers and visiting heads of states, was long viewed as a car of the Indian elite.

Hindustan Motors stopped production of the Ambassador in 2014 with around 2,200 cars sold in 2013.

First manufactured in 1948, the Ambassador was the only luxury car available in India till the mid-1980s. By early 1990's, economic reforms opened India's doors to many small car manufacturers.