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Formerly known as the Premier Automobiles Limited, Premier Limited was established in 1944 to build vehicles under license from Plymouth and Dodge. And from there, the company went on to pioneer new technology in the manufacture of automobiles, recording a constant and healthy growth curve. The first Premier car to be produced was the licensed Plymouth car and the other vehicle was the Dodge truck. In 1951, Premier started producing versions of the Fiat 500 for the Indian automobile market, which was followed by the Premier Padmini (based on the Fiat 1100). The Fiat 124-based Premier 118 and 138D were launched in 1978. In 2000, the company went on to launch the Premier Sigma and Roadster vans and pick-ups, under license from Taiwan's China Motor Corporation.
Originally based in Mumbai, Premier Ltd. Now functions from an ultra-modern, ISO 9001 certified plant at Chinchwad, Pune. The facility is spread over 27 acres and now serves as the centralized research, development and manufacturing for all activities.In November 2004, the company restarted its operations by manufacturing a small diesel powered van called the Sigma. It is based on an old 1980s Mitsubishi Varica design licenced from China Motor in Taiwan, with the Peugeot engine from the 309.Premier re-entered the Indian passenger vehicle market with a compact SUV named RiO in October 2009. Rio is assembled from CKD kits of Zotye Nomad I made by Zotye Auto of China.
The Premier Automotive Group (PAG), is a group within the Ford Motor Company that oversees the business operations of its three European luxury automobile subsidiaries: Jaguar (Now part of Tata Motors), Land Rover (Now part of Tata Motors) and Volvo. Previously, PAG has also been responsible for Lincoln and Aston Martin; Lincoln was taken back into Ford direct control, and Aston Martin was sold. In September 2006 the Rover brand was secured from BMW to the PAG, to protect the Land Rover brand.
Although Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is often credited with building the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile in about 1769, this claim is disputed by some, who doubt Cugnot's three-wheeler ever ran. Others claim Ferdinand Verbiest, a member of a Jesuit mission in China, built the first steam-powered 'car' around 1672. What is not in doubt is that Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive in 1801, the first truly successful steam-powered road vehicle.François Isaac de Rivaz, a Swiss inventor, designed the first internal combustion engine, in 1806, which was fuelled by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen and used it to develop the world's first vehicle to run on such an engine. The design was not very successful, as was the case with Samuel Brown, Samuel Morey, and Etienne Lenoir who each produced vehicles powered by clumsy internal combustion engines