Several vehicles sold to militants Murtaza Baba turns out to be kingpin
Mumbai/Surat Jul 28 (PTI) The two vehicles found packed with explosives in Surat bringing the diamond city under terror radar was recently stolen from Navi Mumbai and several persons detained while one person caught with huge amount of cash on Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway was being grilled by police. "A Wagon R car found in Surat was stolen on July 8 from Vashi while a Maruti 800 car was stolen from the Sanpada area on July 15," a senior Mumbai police official said today on the condition of anonymity.
Both the cars were stolen from the parking lots of the buildings of the owners and both belonged to businessmen, the official said. The owners of the respective vehicles had filed complaints with the Navi Mumbai police stating that the cars had been stolen, he said.
Investigations are presently on to find who had stolen the vehicles, he added. Police said the number plates of the two cars stuffed with powder materials, gelatin sticks and shrapnels were fake and were of two-wheelers.
"We have not found any leads into who was behind the planting of explosives in the Surat city. But several people have been detained for questioning," Police Commissioner R M S Brar said today.
The explosives were sent to a forensic science laboratory for testing, Brar said. The two cars had number plates from Vadodara city.
"On investigations we have found out that all the number plates are of two-wheelers. They (terrorists) used fake number plates to mislead the police," Brar said.
Police detained one person from Surendranagar district on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway with huge amount of cash in connection with the serial blasts. PTI.
A number of cars stolen from different parts of the State have been recovered by Punjab and New Delhi Police after the busting of two gangs of inter-State car lifters involving car thieves from Jammu.
Though exact number of the cars stolen from J&K and recovered in Ludhiana city of Punjab and New Delhi during last few days is being ascertained, according to official sources, more than a dozen cars of Jammu have been seized by Ludhiana police alone. A number of such cars have also been seized by Delhi Police.
Both the gangs were mostly operating in New Delhi, Punjab, Jammu and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Rajdeep alias Vijay Topi of Jammu, presently settled in Amritsar and Ashwani Kumar alias Ashu, also hailing from Jammu, were part of a three member gang busted by Ludhiana police while Deepak Kapoor, a resident of Gandhi Nagar and a dismissed Sub Inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police, was part of a four member car lifters gang smashed by Delhi Police.
Sources said Vijay Topi, Ashu and their third associate Pushpinder Singh of Jandiallan, Punjab were involved in a number of car thefts in Jammu. They used to sell cars stolen from Jammu in Punjab. Similarly, cars stolen from different areas of Punjab had been sold here.
They were actively operating in the two States besides parts of other States for last more than three years. According to sources, more than 50 cars including 22 luxurious four wheelers have so far been recovered by Ludhiana police at the instance of three arrested thieves while more recoveries were expected at their behest during the coming days.
Ludhiana police, sources said, was also expected to bring all three car lifters here shortly for effecting recoveries of stolen vehicles, sold by the trio to some persons. Topi, it may be mentioned, was arrested by Trikuta Nagar police here about two years back along with his two associates and six stolen vehicles.
The gang members including Topi and Ashu were reported to have disclosed the identity of four more active members of the gang who include two girls as well. Sources said it was yet to be ascertained whether the girls were involved in car thefts or had just purchased the stolen vehicles.
Topi gang had developed two drills with the help of which they used to open front door of the car and decamp with it using a master key. The drills were recovered from them at the time of their arrest.
Topi gang had three more members from Jammu all of whom were operating in Punjab and J&K. They have presently gone underground after the arrest of Topi and his associates, sources said.
KOLKATA: Installation of anti-theft devices in motor vehicles and two-wheelers may soon be made mandatory. The General Insurance Council and the transport ministry are jointly working on introduction of a specific rule that will make installation of such devices compulsory for all vehicles, including two-wheelers. This may be made applicable for all vehicle owners, both existing and new.
General Insurance Council is the representative body of non-life insurers, both public and private sector. "Theft is turning out to be a menace for car insurers as well as owners. General insurers lose Rs 1,000 crore every year. As much as 15% of all motor vehicles claims are for theft. Claims paid every year for theft is collected from vehicle owners in the form of increased premium. In the process customers lose. This is a risk-mitigation measure for benefit of owners," he said.
"We recently made recommendations
to the transport ministry in favour of introduction of a rule so that
all vehicles including two-wheelers are fitted with anti-theft devices.
The ministry has taken up the idea
"The rule will not require any amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and it can be issued in the form of a notification as was done in the case of anti-pollution equipment," he added.
Speaking to ET, Society of Indian Automobile
Manufacturers (Siam) director-general Dilip Chenoy said, "For
starters, the government may introduce the rule for two-wheelers from
April 2008. Rules for
Mr Chenoy pointed out that sports utility
vehicles (SUV) and popular models of four-wheelers and two-wheelers
are frequently stolen. "Siam has joined hands with General Insurance
Council to tackle this problem. Siam has also urged car manufacturers
to install anti-theft devices to arrest incidents of car theft. For
instance, Maruti Suzuki India has started equipping its cars with
immobiliser — an anti-theftdevice. Immobiliser are electronic
systems that works on digitally encrypted codes with a car key fob.
The car starts only after the codes on the fob matches with the corresponding
code on the electronic
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) as many as 66,000 two-wheelers and 14,000 cars were stolen in 2005. Highest incidences of theft were reported in Delhi, followed by Mumbai and Bangalore both for two-wheelers and passenger cars.
Additionally, Siam and the council has
decided to share data on stolen vehicles. Service centres will also
be kept informed on chassis and engine numbers of the stolen cars,
so that it becomes easier to track
Sources close to the development said
automobile associations have been working on the issue of theft of
two-wheelers as a specific brand of motor cycles gets stolen and are
subsequently exported to
"Anti-theft devices includes warning equipment like audible alarm, wheel/brake pedal locks, wheel locks, steering wheel locks. Immobilising devices include smart keys, fuse cut-offs, kill switches, starter, ignition and fuel disabler and wireless ignition authentication systems. The latest in terms of technology are computerised tracking systems," Mr Bhandari said.
"Currently, insurers offer a flat
discount of Rs 400 if anti-theft devices are installed. This may rise
to about 10% of premiums paid after the general insurance industry
is detariffed," ICICI Lombard
NEW DELHI: If you worry yourself sick
over car-jacking and gizmo thefts, you can now breathe easy. From October,
anti-theft systems are likely to be fitted in all vehicles, including
small cars, as standard
India has one of the world's highest vehicle
theft cases — with one being stolen every five minutes, as per
the National Crime Records Bureau — and the total loss is estimated
to be over Rs 1,000 crore by
To counter the growing menace — vehicle thefts have recorded an average increase of 25% in the past five years — the Automotive Industry Standards (AIS) will strap anti-theft devices in passenger cars and light trucks (up to two-tonners). The mandate has been finalised and is likely be notified in the next few months.
Matching European ECE norms, where anti-theft systems come as a factory-fitted standard feature and aftermarket 'theft-deterrent systems' are not accepted, India's comprehensive anti-theft auto standard will likely be a combination of both vehicle alarm systems (VAS) and engine immobilisers.
"We have already finalised the standards
for the fitments in smaller vehicles (passenger car and light mini-trucks),
which are most prone to theft. The entire process to notify these anti-theft
Sometime early next year, every passenger car in the 1.4-million unit strong Indian market and each light mini-truck — out of the 2 lakh sold domestically — is likely to be loaded with an anti-theft system.
While many companies, such as Maruti Udyog, Ford India, Honda Siel Cars and Mahindra Renault (in its Logan sedan) have standardised various form of security equipment, the absence of any clear norms has created problems. There is no minimum standard specified for equipment to be strapped into the vehicles and most companies are avoiding anti-theft systems because of cost issues.
Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) plans to introduce
security systems in a phased manner. The company is going to launch
a satellite-based GPSM security system in its cars initially, which
is currently being
"We are looking at the norms to be mandated and would adopt a standard security equipment gradually. Currently, it is strapped in our top-end Sonata sedan, while other cars starting from premium sedan Elantra to the Santro hatchback would be loaded with these anti-theft systems once the norms are mandated," an HMIL spokesperson said.
With the notification of the norms, insurance companies are likely to offer lucrative rebates on premium. Currently, a few insurers are offering a rebate of Rs 500 on premium for cars equipped with anti-theft systems.
The domestic market for these devices
is also likely to grow from the current Rs 450 crore to over Rs 1,000
crore by 2010. Minda Locking Systems MD Sanjay Thapar said, "Once
mandated, we are expecting a major demand for these systems. We could
see the market breaching the Rs 1,000-crore mark by 2010, with domestic
sales of passenger vehicles and mini-trucks expected to hit over 2 million
units and both required to have anti-theft systems."
JAMMU, Oct 2: Murtaza Baba, a militant-cum-criminal
of Sopore, Kashmir has turned out to be a prime accused in supplying
luxurious cars to militants and other influential persons in the Valley
Investigations carried out by Jammu and
Punjab police after first such racket between Punjab and Kashmir based
car lifters was unearthed few days back have revealed that Murtaza Baba,
a resident of Chanpora, Sopore, was instrumental in getting the cars
lifted from major North Indian cities and selling them among his associates
in different militant outfits especially Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul
Official sources told the Excelsior that Murtaza Baba was being assisted in his task by Riaz Ahmed of Lal Bazar, Srinagar and Shakeel Ahmed of Sopore.
Names of three Kashmiri miscreants in car
lifting racket and their subsequent supply to militant commanders and
other prominent persons have surfaced during sustained interrogation
of Rajnish Kumar of Adampur, Jalandhar—first by Jammu Police followed
by Jalandhar Police, which has now taken custody of the car lifter as
he along with his absconding associate Balwinder alias Bunty, also a
resident of Adampur have turned out to be main accused in nexus between
Kashmir and Punjab
Sources said Rajnish Kumar and Balwinder
'Bunty' were reported to be unaware of the fact that cars stolen by
them from Punjab, Chandigarh and New Delhi etc and sold to Murtaza Baba
and party in Jammu were landing in the hands of militants in the Valley.
They had been selling
However, verification of Murtaza Baba's
record by police revealed that he and his associates were having old
links with militant outfits and had been arranging cars and other stolen
vehicles for them, sources
Murtaza Baba was present in a hotel in the
City here on September 22 when Rajnish Kumar was arrested by the police
in Gandhi Nagar area with a stolen car while Bunty had managed to give
a slip to the cops.
Sources said car lifters of Kashmir and Punjab were in touch with each other on mobile telephones and used to meet in the City here only when Jalandhar gangsters had cars with them. Baba and his ssociates used to take possession of the car and escape to Srinagar where they were disposed off to militants, anti-social elements and some other prominent persons in the Valley.
More than two dozen cars had been sold to Murtaza Baba by the Jalandhar based gangsters only while there were reports that Baba was dealing with car lifters of other States as well.
Further investigations in the case
were in progress.
A professional can steal your vehicle in just 30 seconds - without the key. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) are encouraging citizens to "Lock It or Lose It." The goal of the proactive crime prevention program is to encourage drivers to take a few simple precautions that will protect their vehicles from theft.
An unlocked door or an open window is an invitation to thieves. The "Lock It or Lose It" program reminds drivers to always:
* Roll up their vehicles' windows. * Keep valuables out of sight. * Lock their doors.
* Pocket their keys.
In partnership with the IBC, vehicles parked in a variety
of locations are checked to confirm that they are locked and that no valuables
have been left in plain view. "A small flyer placed on every vehicle
"Auto theft costs Canadians more than $1.2 billion every year," said Richard Dubin, IBC VP Investigative Services. "About half of all stolen vehicles are used to commit another crime or are driven - often recklessly - for simple purposes of transportation (this is called 'destination theft'). In these cases, the thieves are usually amateurs who take advantage of owner negligence by grabbing the first vehicle they can find that's been left unsecured. In the other half of cases, vehicles are stolen by professional thieves involved in organized crime rings."
The key to protecting your vehicle is in your hands. Keep yourself from becoming an easy target by properly securing your vehicle.
Remember: Lock It or Lose It!
NEW DELHI: The ministry of heavy industries
is considering a proposal to make it mandatory to fit RFIDenabled devices
in the cars manufactured in India. It will be the responsibility of the
car manufacturers to ensure that all new cars have these radio-frequency
identification tags. It is believed that RFID tags would help in traffic
management as traffic violations by motorists could be tracked
The RFID-based system that is proposed to enable tracking
of vehicles relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices
called RFID tags or transporters . An RFID tag is an object that can be
"The expected increase of cars and SUVs from 2005
to 2035 is 13 times (35.8 million to 236.4 million vehicles), while two
wheelers are expected to increase about 6.6 times (35.8 million to 236.4
In Singapore, public transport buses and trains employ passive RFID cards known as EZ-Link cards. Traffic into crowded downtown areas is regulated by variable tolls imposed using an active tagging system combined with the use of stored-value cards (known as cash cards). RFID is also used in Malaysia Expressways payment system, known as 'Touch 'n Go' . Due to the name and design, the card needs to be touched for usage.
The ministry of urban development has already discussed
a similar agenda with many states. The ministry has proposed a 'core area
charge' for different cities to reduce traffic congestion in the
According to government officials, the important
areas in major metropolitan cities like Connaught Place in Delhi, MG Road
in Bangalore and Colaba and Andheri in Mumbai have been facing chaotic
Express News Service [ 17 Oct, 2007 ]
The Kochi Police have now come up with
a solution to wipe away your fear: the GPS-enabled (Global Positioning
System) Vehicle Tracking System. The first of its kind in the state, the
system which will be implemented in the city from Sunday will make vehicle
thefts a remote possibility. Conceptualised by Police Commissioner Manoj
Abraham and designed on
As part of implementing the system, police patrol vehicles
in the city will be electronically connected to each other and with the
city police control room. Twelve patrol vehicles, including the police
ambulance, will be linked to the electronic tracking system. There will
be huge screens in the control room through which policemen can monitor
and track vehicles going through any particular area. As a preliminary
step, the Smart Vehicle Tracking System (SVTS) will be attached to patrol
vehicles. ''SVTS will be installed in vehicles using the GSM (Global System
for Mobile Communication) network. Once it's attached, the movement and
position of vehicles can be tracked and monitored on the screens at the
control room. The details of the movement can be seen as a GIS map on
the monitor. These can be seen live on a high resolution geographical
map,'' said circle inspector
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will inaugurate the vehicle tracking system at the Durbar Hall Ground on Sunday at 7 p.m. Ernakulam IG Vinson M.Paul, Kochi Commissioner Manoj Abraham and assistant commissioner K.B.Venugopal will attend the function.
When the FBI's "Crime in the United States" report was released early last week, El Paso fared well in some categories.
For example, homicides, sexual assaults and aggravated assaults -- included in the list of violent crimes -- showed decreases.
That's good -- although there's still work to be done, because El Paso's 2007 homicides number 14 as of Friday, one more than all of 2006.
On the negative side, the FBI report showed that property crimes increased 4.5 percent in 2006 compared with 2005. Property crimes include robbery, burglary, larceny/theft and arson.
Nationwide, according to FBI figures, violent crime increased 1.9 percent in 2006 and property crime decreased by 1.9 percent. So El Paso is bucking the trend in both areas.
The biggest increase in El Paso property crime was auto theft, which vaulted 35 percent; FBI stats show that in 2005, vehicle thefts totaled 2,599. In 2006, that figure rose to 3,519.
Much of that increase is probably due to El Paso's proximity to the border and an increasing demand for certain vehicles and their parts.
Obviously it's an area that will be getting more attention
from the Police Department. But vehicle owners can help police -- and
themselves -- by doing such things as always locking the vehicle; not
Keeping all categories of crime as low as possible is obviously
in the best interests of all El Pasoans. Nobody wants to be the victim
of a crime, no matter what it is. However, keeping crime as low as possible
While this is certainly a point of local pride, it's
also an important factor for people or businesses considering coming to
El Paso. Nobody wants to come to a city with a reputation as a crime capital.
NEW DELHI: The science of today is quite
likely to be the everyday technology of tomorrow. Consider biofuels like
ethanol and biodiesel, which are now blended with petroleum products like
petrol and diesel.
The good news is that second-generation biofuel technologies
promise far more environmentally-friendly fuel supplies, and at lower
costs too. The best part is that the new technologies in the pipeline
The innovative biofuels in the offing would be blended
"in any proportion" into the regular diesel or petrol got via
refining crude oil. And since the new technologies in the works stipulate
Biofuel space at present is a "VC garden", underlines Jennifer Holmgren, director, renewable energy and chemicals business at UOP, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell. The cutting-edge biofuels like "green diesel" are designed to be "fungible fuels", adds Ms Holmgren, which means the real potential for complete integration of biofuels production into existing petroleum refineries.
India is implementing policies aimed at large-scale cultivation of Jatropha and Pongamia in wastelands with a view to ensuring that the country's biodiesel production can meet the 5% blending requirement.
So much for first-generation biofuels. The next technological
breakthrough would be the commercial usage of agricultural waste and lignocellulosic
biomass as feedstock for producing biorenewables.
Overall, the diversification of the feedstock base from edibles like cane or corn to inedible biomass and oils such as Jatropha ought to bring down costs and be environmentally more 'green' as well.
But the more encouraging biofuel products are butanol,
for blending with petrol; and green diesel, which is produced by adding
hydrogen to biofeedstock. Both the products exhibit better calorific and
ways you can out-smart a car thief
Updated: 10:30 a.m. ET Sept. 28, 2007
Thieves targeted Charlotte and Stevan Arbona's car three times.
Twice, their Honda Accord had the air bags stolen out of it right in front of their Brooklyn home. The thieves broke a back window to get access each time. "As soon as we got the air bags replaced, they came back," Charlotte says.
The third time, the whole car was stolen, only to be recovered a few blocks away sans air bags and with some other minor damage. The Arbonas invested in a parking garage after that. A car is stolen every 25.5 seconds in the U.S., according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which works with insurance companies to prevent auto theft and insurance fraud.
In 2005, there were 1,235,226 motor vehicle thefts, which is 2,625 less than in 2004, NICB data indicates. (Data for 2006 will not be available until later this fall, the organization said.)
Although that is only a slight drop — less than 1 percent — the number of cars stolen each year has been trending down for a decade.
"It began to drop in 1996 when we started using computer
engineered controls," says Robert Sinclair, spokesperson for AAA
New York (formerly called the American Automobile Association). "It
Vehicles may be getting harder to steal because of advances in technology, but it's often the most basic things drivers do — or don't do — that entice carjackers.
For instance, leaving a window cracked open on a parked car — even the tiniest bit — is like a flashing neon sign that says "steal this car," according to Michigan's Help Eliminate Auto Theft program, or HEAT.
machine is another bad idea. Thieves stake out these locations, waiting for such opportunities, according to the Department of Transportation's Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority, or ABTPA.
Statistics from the NICB indicate that 62.1 percent of the vehicles stolen in 2005 were ultimately recovered. The reason so many are never found is that they are often exported to other countries or broken down in chop shops for their parts, the NICB says.
However, there are some ways to improve the chances of
recovery. Programs offered by car anufacturers — including General
Motor's OnStar and BMW Assist — connect drivers by satellite to
In OnStar's case, after filing a police report for a stolen
vehicle, drivers dial a toll-free number and alert OnStar to track the
vehicle, says Rebecca White, a spokeswoman for OnStar Communications.
OnStar gets about 700 requests a month to assist with locating
a stolen vehicle, White says. (She would not discuss its success rate
because, she said, law-enforcement agencies do not always notify
Government anti-theft programs such as Watch Your Car also
offer helpful deterrents. The Watch Your Car program provides decals indicating
that a car is not normally driven between the hours of 1
Another decal alerts law enforcement that a vehicle is not normally driven near international land borders and shipping ports.
A VIN Etching Program also allows owners to have vehicle identification numbers acid-etched on the windows, which makes it much more difficult for thieves to resell the vehicle or use it for parts.
It's been ten years since the Arbonas had an incident with car thieves. They think switching to a different car brand helped, and they might be right. The Honda Accord ranked as the most stolen vehicle in the country in 2005, according to the NICB.
So what kind of car are the Arbonas driving around now? "We decided not to get another Honda," harlotte says. "We now have a Volvo V70 that we park on the street and it's been fine. We haven't had any problems. We figured no one would steal a Volvo station wagon for a joyride."
Our list of tips to help prevent auto theft was compiled from multiple sources, including HEAT, the NICB, and the ABTPA. Click on the "Slide show" link above to see the full list.
NEW DELHI: Nissan always had the Suzuki small car to fall back on in India. Now partner Renault is looking at a sub-Logan car for this market. We find out what this could mean for India and for Renault’s local ally M&M in model and other terms.
It had to happen sooner or later. India’s reputation
as a small car hub has now attracted French major Renault. The company
is looking to develop a $3000 car for emerging markets which will include
India as well.
If the new low-cost car—which will compete with the Tata Rs 1 lakh vehicle when it comes to India—is produced in the three-way greenfield plant that Renault, Nissan and Mahindra & Mahindra are putting up in Chennai, it will be sold by its current Indian JV Mahindra Renault and also cobadged as a Mahindra Renault product like the Logan.
This sub-Logan car, due for launch in three years, will be the second small car that the French-Japanese combine will be betting on in India. Partner Nissan already has a production agreement with Suzuki under which it will source 50,000 units of the new Suzuki small car (speculation say it’s probably the Splash) for sale in both India and overseas.
Sources say a substantial portion of those volumes
will be sold in India as well. Suzuki has already announced it will make
the same model both for domestic as well as export sales.
NEW DELHI: This is back-seat driving at its best. Tata’s small car project has become a big challenge for myriad small component makers across the country, who are pitching in to the dream project in bits and parts. Specifically, they are getting to associate with product development from the ground up and pare costs and margins to the bone, relying on expected large volumes.
It isn’t a challenge just for Ratan and his boys, it’s also a formidable task for several small component makers who need to meet stringent cost and quality targets so that the car can be produced for Rs 1 lakh.
Afterall, the success of all stakeholders hinges on the number of cars that will hit the road. If the car sells in huge numbers, just like motorcycles did through the 1990s, it would be a windfall for India’s auto parts industry.
While a few companies working on the Tata car are outsourcing design to low-cost countries like Taiwan, there are some others who are installing dedicated assembly lines in the hope of high volumes.
For R&D-driven foreign companies like Bosch, it’s an opportunity to work on products they developed over the years but could never sell because of the absence of a market, globally. Singur remains as much a challenge for them as for Mr Tata. Yet, everyone is hoping that in the end, volumes will speak.
Shriram Pistons & Rings, which is making engine
parts for the car, is setting up a dedicated production line. The company’s
CEO, Ashok Taneja, says he is bound by a confidentiality clause, but adds,
“If a company has an assured order book, he can set up a dedicated
line and control costs.”
Columnist William F Buckley Jr once famously said, his tongue firmly in cheek, that “life can’t be all that bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.” And with due apologies to Buckley, even if your musical tastes veer more towards the bhangra beat or the rap rupture than the sharps and flats of a sonata, it’s still cheaper than ever before. And more mobile than ever before.
Indeed, after tyres the biggest accessory spend in the car market is on audio systems. While high-end cars pack quite a bit of technology into the humble car stereo, even volume-end cars are beginning to get a taste of designer decibels.
But first, the stats. According to an industry source, 95per cent of all cars sold in India now have music systems. Clearly the car audio business is no small affair. Estimated to be worth around Rs 660 crore as much as 60per cent of the market is in the unorganised sector. Most of the organised market is OEM or manufacturer driven and sources say it has been enjoying a steady growth of 7.5per cent as per last year’s figures. “In the past four to five years, the segment has seen a lot of growth,” says Ajay Sahney, divisional manager-sales, mobile communications, Blaupunkt.
So what’s driving this smart clip? Simply put, the reason behind the growth in the organised market lies in better tech awareness. The nextgen car buyer is much more aware of the latest technology available worldwide. And he believes in buying authentic products/brands, which is what’s holding up the organised sector. Indeed so perky has growth been that auto audio is beginning to give home entertainment a run for its decibel levels. “I believe the car music system’s growth is as significant as the growth in the home entertainment segment,” says Abhijit Paul, product head (mobile electronics), Sony India.
NEW DELHI: Fuel efficiency and the post-purchase experience are the two important brand differentiators for an Indian car buyer today, believes managing director of Mahindra Renault, Rajesh Jejurikar. In an interview with Meenakshi Verma he says the diesel technology is fast emerging as an alternative for petrol.
Based on your experience with Logan so far, do you think diesel has emerged as the clear alternative to petrol ?
Yes. When we planned for Logan we estimated that about 70 per cent of our sales are going to be coming from diesel consumers because it is fast becoming the preferred alternative fuel. We have sold about 2,786 units in less than a month in 11 cities since May. And as per our anticipation, about 65-70 per cent demand is for the diesel version.
Good diesel technology for cars is available in India. Moreover, it is available pan-India unlike other alternative fuels. Besides, diesel is an efficient fuel, even in non hatch products. It gives very good mileage and is low on emissions. Currently hybrids are on the conceptual stage and therefore diesel is the reality today.
What is your perspective on the segment Logan is competing in? How is the segment poised to grow? Also, going forward, what are your expectations about the sales of Logan?
We are trying to create a new segment and our target consumer is positioned somewhere between the premium B plus segment and the entry level C segment, which is pitched at the price points of Rs 4.75-5-5 .75 lakh units. The entry level C segment alone is expected to grow by 12-15 per cent.
The segment has a huge growth promise as it is providing the hatchback consumer the option to upgrade to a sedan. About 68 per cent of Logan sales are coming from our high-end models.
This shows that the car is fast becoming an aspirational
product and the segment gives the car owner an opportunity to make a statement
of ,”I have arrived” . In fact, it might become one of the
fastest growing segments in the coming days.
models are worth the wait. Carmakers may offer hefty discounts on models
due for a phase out or a redesign but these typically depreciate three
times faster than a newly-launched car. So look before you leap at the
Dealers may offer customers great sounding deals (read huge cash discounts and incentives like the Rs 50,000 scheme on the Corsa or the Rs 1 lakh offer on the old Corolla) on old year models or last generation variants even as the new year model or next-gen variant of a vehicle actually rolls in. Sometimes even a new launch in a different segment triggers off a discount wave. For instance, when the Swift rolled in, both Zen and WagonR attracted discounts in the region of Rs 20,000-25,000. Ditto with Ford. With the Fiesta rolling in, discounts on the Ikon now range in the region of Rs 50,000-63,000, say dealer sources.
However, automobile experts insist that it’s
better to pay a little more for the latest year models than to go in for
an old one. At the end of every year, most customers get lured by the
incentives or cash discounts that car manufacturers offer on outgoing
models not realising that whent he time comes to trade in that car or
sell it, seling an outdated model will not be easy. For instance, Maruti
redesigned the Esteem, so the older outgoing models were being sold at
huge discounts attracting a fair amount of consumer interest as well.
The latest example is that of the Mitsubishi Lancer which has been around
for a while without too many radical face-lifts or redesign avatars and
has thus gone in for a Rs 90,000-odd price cut on its variants this festival
June 12: A gang preparing fake Registration Certificates (RCs) for the
stolen vehicles was surfaced today following the seizure of a brand new
Scorpio vehicle at Banihal.