Premier Padmini is an automobile that was manufactured in India from 1973 to 1998 by Premier Automobiles Limited, a division of the Walchand Group, under license from Fiat and marketed initially as the Fiat 1100 Delight — and beginning in 1973 as the Premier Padmini.
The Padmini’s primary competitor in the Indian market was the Hindustan Ambassador and Standard Herald. This famous car ruled the Indian car market and its popularity peaked during 1970s and 80s.
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Many leading icons of the time including legendary Rajnikanth, Mammootty, Aamir Khan and many others had owned a Premier Padmini during its prime years. Known colloquially as the Pad, or Fiat (since the Padmini was originally a Fiat car), the Padmini is named after a 14th-century Rajputprincess. Padmini translates to “she who sits on the lotus” and refers to the Goddess Lakshmi. It was also a common name for girls in India at the time.
From the mid 1980s onward, with the advent of more modern, cheaper and more fuel-efficient cars from Maruti Suzuki, the popularity of the Padmini slowly began to wane.
While all cars built by Premier themselves were four-door sedans, small companies also offered other bodywork, mainly in the form of estates. The Fiat 1100-D’s original design remained unchanged, aside from some minor grill facelifts and the removal of the front-door quarter glass at some point in the 1980s.