Walchand Hirachand Group and the Fiat Cars in India!

Walchand Hirachand Doshi

(23 November 1882 – 8 April 1953) was an Indian Industrialist and the founder of the Walchand Group. He established India’s first modern shipyard, first aircraft factory and first car factory; he also established construction companies, sugar plantations, sugar factories, confectioneries, engineering companies and many other businesses.

The Walchand Group and the Fiat Car Company

As early as 1939, Walchand was interested in establishing a car factory in India. Birla Family was also working in the same direction. In 1940, he signed an MOU with Chrysler but could not get clearances and concessions from the Mysore government (India) unlike in the case of the aircraft company (a part of the Hindustan Aircraft Industry shares that he established was taken over by the government of India and was renamed and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

In 1945, he established Premier Automobiles near Mumbai.

Again in this venture his other partners were Dharamsey Mulraj Khatau and Tulsidas Kilachand, who were also Walchand’s partners in Hindustan Aircraft. By 1948, the company started indigenisation in a small way with an in-house components department.

The first car rolled out of his factory in 1949, thus beating Birla’s Hindustan Motors venture in the race. In 1955, it tied up with Fiat and started manufacturing engines in India. By 1956, parts of chassis were locally made.

(this post is based on the inputs from wikipedia and self studies from different sources)

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