Dairy giant Amul has paid a tribute to Mumbai's Premier Padmini taxis in a heartwarming post, after the news broke out that the iconic Indo-Italian model will be phased out soon. Taking to Twitter, Amul shared a sketch of Amul's advertising mascot hugging the 'Kaali Peeli' taxi with the caption, "Cabbie alvida na kehna". Here is the post shared by Amul:
The production of these taxis was stopped in the year 2000, and there are less than 50 of them remaining in the city. They'll stop plying on the Mumbai roads altogether by June 2020. The car debuted as Fiat 1100 Delight in 1964. In 1965, its name was changed to Premier President, and in 1974 it became the Premier Padmini — named after the legendary Indian queen. For the next 30 years, it dominated the roads. These black-and-yellow cabs have featured in countless Bollywood movies. Around 65,000 Padminis plied Mumbai at their peak in the mid-1990s but they gradually made their way out in favour of newer, more environmentally-friendly vehicles.
The first Padminis rolled off production lines at the Premier Automobiles Limited factory in Mumbai, in 1964, under a licensing agreement with the famous Italian car manufacturer Fiat. Mumbai authorities in the 1960s opted for the Padmini over the bulkier Hindustan Motors Ambassador - the taxi of choice in Delhi and Kolkata, which was the only other car widely available in India at the time -- and their numbers increased exponentially during the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Many netizens were nostalgic as well as shocked when they read about the news. Commenting on Amul's tweet, one user commented, "heartwarming", while the other seemed shocked and wrote, "Whaaa? No more kaali peelis now?!" and the third commented that nothing can replace these taxis.