According to The Telegraph, the taxis were first introduced in 1964 as part of India’s self-sufficiency economic policy at the time, prioritising domestic production. The Padmini cars were produced under a license from Fiat in Mumbai. Before long there were over 62,000 of them in Mumbai, taking up daily battles with the city's traffic. Production ended in 2000, but the cars have remained to this day, with drivers patching them up and often improvising with running repairs using old pairs of tights, bits of scrap parts, bicycle chains or pieces of string to keep the engines running and the cars in one piece.
In 2013, the government order that all vehicles more than 20 years old, meaning about 4,500 of the remaining 9,500 Padmini will not have their licences renewed. The black taxis with their bright yellow roofs are as synonymous with Mumbai as the Ambassador is to Delhi or the Hackney cab to London.
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