Premier Padmini’s everlasting contribution to Indian mobility..

This blog pointed to a brief history of the iconic Premier Padmini car popularly called as Fiat.

Here is another one by Arushi Vats of Scroll..

Though its use as a private car was on the wane in post-1991 India as international models entered the market, the Padmini continued to dominate public transport, especially in Mumbai, till at least a decade ago. On the sidelines grew a subsidiary economy of taxi stickers, radium stickers, painters, mechanics and other paraphernalia that came to adorn Mumbai’s taxis.

What made the vehicle click was that it was spacious and strong, with a carrying capacity for people as well as goods. Built to withstand damage, the vehicle was low-maintenance, thereby endearing many generations of taxi drivers in Mumbai. The documentary Padmini My Love captures the interstices of migration, labour and mobility that shape the lives of Padmini taxi drivers.

With the 2013 ruling, however, most of the city’s beloved Padmini taxis are now ending up at scrap graveyards. On the contrary, however, the value of the Padmini for private use has escalated once again – this time, in vintage car dealerships.

Mobility drives economy. Padmini’s everlasting contribution to India is perhaps emblematic of this.

We hardly focus on role of transport and mobility and take it as granted. But this was not how it was. Pad or Fiat played one of the most important roles in Indian business and economic history..

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