The company was founded on June 27, 1944 and flourished from 1950 to the early 1990s, when India was cut off from imports and foreign investment by customs barriers . Initially, motor vehicles were manufactured under foreign licenses .
Later, Premier manufactured license replicas of the Fiat models 1100 (Millecento) as Premier Padmini and 124 as Premier 118 for the Indian market . The Fiat Millecento appeared in 1953 and was built in various model variants until 1969. The 1100 D model was produced in India until the 1990s, the first version of which was produced in Europe at the beginning of the 1960s; in Germany this model was produced - also under license - as NSU-Fiat Neckar or Europa from 1963 to 1965 in Heilbronn .
The Premier 100 Delight corresponded to the 4 m long four-door Fiat 1100 D with the 40 hp 1200 cc engine. The so-called drive-away chassis was also offered. This version lacked the body from the B-pillar so that station wagon, ambulance and pick-up bodies were possible.
The Premier 118 NE, which was added later, was named after the 1180 cm³ engine, which was borrowed from the Nissan Cherry . The body and the rest of the technology come from a version of the Fiat 124 from the 1960s, which was viewed as a luxury car in India until the import of modern cars in the 1990s. The body of the Seat 124 D, a Spanish license version of the Fiat, was used.
After the liberalization of the Indian market in the 1990s, Premier joined forces with Peugeot and manufactured the Peugeot 309 under license. In the beginning the demand was high. Problems with the workforce and the poor service by the dealers, which arose from the cooperation with the old partner Fiat in the production of the Fiat Uno , however, led to the withdrawal of the French in 2001. Only a few thousand copies of the Peugeot 309 were sold in India.
The same problems, strikes and a lack of service also affected sales of the Fiat models: a strike in 2001 led to the closure of the factory and permanently damaged the brand's reputation in India.
In November 2004, Premier resumed production with the small diesel-powered delivery van Premier Sigma . The vehicle is based on a license of the Mitsubishi Minicab from the 1980s from China Motor in Taiwan . It is powered by an engine from the Peugeot 309 and is mainly built for the taxi market .
In December 2018, Premier filed for bankruptcy. The production of the RiO has now ceased and the land on which the company is located was sold in 2019.
- Premier RiO 1st SUV of India with diesel engine (based on Daihatsu Terios 1)
- Premier Rio + (Daihatsu Terios 2 base)
- Premier Roadstar Roadstar (based on Mitsubishi Minicab 3rd generation)
- Premier Roadstar Tipper (based on Mitsubishi Minicab 3rd generation)
- Premier Sigma (based on Mitsubishi Minicab Fifth Generation )
- Premier Sigma Lifeline (ambulance on Sigma platform)
- Premier Sigma Express (van on Sigma platform)
- Premier Sigma School Van (school bus on Sigma platform)
- Premier Sigma Tourist Van ( diesel or CNG powered van on Sigma platform)
- Premier Automobiles Limited. In: opencorporates.com , accessed December 21, 2019
- Maulik Vyas: Fiat Padmini long gone, Premier Ltd now faces bankruptcy. December 13, 2018, accessed December 15, 2019 .
- End of an era: Premier sells Pune land to Runwal Group. In: moneycontrol.com. September 12, 2019, accessed December 15, 2019 .