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Sipani Automobiles Ltd
Automobile manufacturer
HeadquartersBangalore, Karnataka, India
Number of employees

Sipani Automobiles Ltd. (known as SAIL [Sunrise Automotive Industries Ltd] until 1978)[1] was an Indian car manufacturer established in 1973, located in Bangalore.[2] They mainly manufactured subcompact cars with fibreglass bodies. They also took over Auto Tractors Limited in 1991 and manufactured diesel engines and tractors in the old ATL factory in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.[3]

A Sipani Dolphin being rallied in 1987

Badal and Dolphin[edit]

Sipani Montana

In 1975, the Sunrise company began production of India's first three-wheeled car, a four-door model perhaps inspired by the Reliant Robin called the Badal. The Badal was not a success, even though a four-wheeled version called "Badal 4" was developed.

Sipani instead switched to building a copy of the British four-wheeled, three-door Reliant Kitten under the name Sipani Dolphin. The standard version of the Dolphin was light blue in colour. Being light and comparably powerful by Indian standards of the day, the Dolphin became known as a fast car and saw some competition success in India. Production of the Dolphin was eclipsed by the advent of the Maruti 800. To compete, a five-door version of the Dolphin was developed, called the "Montana". Its impact in the market was negligible at best, mainly selling in a very small area near Bangalore.


Later they produced a car called the Sipani Montana D1, which had a body design borrowed from the second generation Daihatsu Charade but equipped with an Indian-built Shakti diesel engine intended for a mini-tractor.[4] These cars were very small players; in the fiscal year 1989-90 a mere 290 automobiles were built by Sipani.[2]


Sipani owner R. K. Sipani somehow managed to get a contract to assemble the Rover Montego from CKD-kits in India, following the market liberalization. It was not a success either: 236 cars left the factory in 1995, with only 51 more finding buyers in the next fifteen months. [5]


  1. ^ Torchinsky, Jason. "A Car You Never Heard Of: The SAIL Badal". Jalopnik. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bhaktavatsala Rao, C. (20 February 1993). "Structural Configurations and Strategic Investments: Indian Automobile Industry". Economic and Political Weekly. Mumbai, India: Sameeksha Trust. 28 (8/9): M22.
  3. ^ Bajaj, J.L. (27 August 1994). "Divesting State Ownership: A Tale of Two Companies". Economic and Political Weekly. Mumbai, India: Sameeksha Trust. 29 (35): M-127.
  4. ^ "Sipani Dolphin, Montanna (sic) [India]". Hari's Motor World. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008.
  5. ^ "Britain's Rover eyes multi-utility vehicles segment in India". Business. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2013.

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