India's oldest car factory has abruptly suspended production of the hulking Ambassador sedan that has a nearly seven-decade history as the car of the Indian elite.

It's unclear how long manufacturing is on hold. Spokesman Rajiv Saxena of the Kolkata-based Hindustan Motors says the company is working to restructure and clear debts, but hopes to resume making the so-called "Amby" as soon as possible.

Also known as the grand old lady of India's pot-holed and pitted roads, the Ambassador model has remained largely unchanged for more than five decades in ferrying the elite including prime ministers and high-society celebrities.

Hindustan Motors began making the bulbous Ambassador in 1948, modeled after the British Morris Oxford III. Last year only 2,214 of the vehicles were sold.