Premier Ltd (earlier known as Premier Automobiles Ltd.) is an automotive manufacturer now based out in Pune. The company was started in 1944 in Mumbai, when the Premier started to manufacture Dodge and Plymouth cars and trucks.
In 1951, Premier tied up with Fiat and sold Fiat 500 in India. Later in 1954, the company began the production of Fiat 1100. In 1973, Premier renamed the Fiat 1100 as the Premier Padmini. It was an 1100cc petrol engine that produces 40bhp of power. This car was produced until the 1990s, and the car design remained unchanged. In 1978, Premier launched the Fiat 124 as the Premier 118NE and 138D in India. The 118NE had a 1180cc Nissan engine in it and so was the model name was an acronym.
The Premier then tied up with Peugeot to sell the Peugeot 309, which failed as sales figures when too less as the spares where sparingly available. Peugeot ended this joint venture with Premier in 2001. Premier even tied up with Fiat and bought in the Uno and the Siena. Premier again failed to deliver the quality of service and made the spares easily available. A major strike in the factory caused the plant to shut down. Now with Fiat left alone to fend its image, the Italian automaker walked into India with its that time world small car, the Fiat Palio and fired with from all guns.
Premier had began the production of its commercial vehicles the Sigma and Roadstar in 2004. Later in 2009, Premier once again entered the passenger car market with its compact SUV the Rio, which is a tie-up with Zotye Nomad.