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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jaguar and other luxury cars - problems in REgistration in Tamil Nadu

On a Sunday, I spotted a Jaguar at Triplicane -  its logo is fascinating – it is that  of a jumping jaguar above the company’s name, depicting speed, power and brilliance of the cars produced by the company.  The Jaguar logo was created in 1935. The logo was first seen on a sedan called S.S. 100 Jaguar that was manufactured at the time. However, later, when the production of Jaguar cars commenced, the logo was changed to the eminent wild cat symbol, known as ‘Jaguar’, which looks like it is pouncing over the name of the company.

As the year  2015 dawned, read on Daily Mail  that a  second-hand car trader was told by a Jaguar dealership that he was not allowed to buy a new £65,000 F-Type from them - despite agreeing to the deal the day before. Not here but in UK.  It was reported that  David Hatton, 42,  reportedly was forced to leave the showroom with 'his tail between his legs' during the embarrassing incident.

The man thought that Jaguar bosses fear motor traders will sell on their vehicles for a quick profit, like 1980s sitcom character Arthur Daley. Daley featured in Minder, a British comedy about London's criminal underworld, and famously drove a silver Jaguar. Mr Hatton, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, was hoping to purchase the classic car for personal use only.  The married father-of-two went to the Jaguar dealership, HA Fox, of Nottingham, last week with his wife Stacey, 49, with the intention of buying a second-hand model, priced at around £58,000. [Rs.54 lakhs approx]. But he was soon persuaded to go for a new car and agreed a deal with a salesman after hours of negotiation.

He told them he would come back the following day to finalise the deal and place a deposit on the vehicle. But when he returned to the showroom with his brother, he was told that the dealership's manager had called off the agreement and insisted they would never sell him a car. Mr Hatton said: 'We were absolutely gobsmacked. We literally couldn't believe it. He added that the  car was for personal use. The cars I sell are fairly run-of-the-mill and priced between £3,000 and £5,000.'  Mr Hatton stocks around 25 vehicles at his used car dealership Hattons of Spondon, and has been trading cars for 25 years.

Back home, today’s Times of India  carries an interesting article titled ‘RTOs refuse to register luxe cars’.   Here is the same reproduced.  Many car manufacturers and dealers across the state have been finding it tough to deliver vehicles to customers since the beginning of the year as regional transport offices refuse to register them, allegedly demanding a higher bribe than usual.  A dealer of Mercedes and BMW in Chennai said RTOs had stopped registering both brands. “RTOs have received verbal instruction from higher-ups not to register some brands of vehicles. We know these brands include Mercedes and BMW,“ he said. Another dealer said Audi, Honda and Toyota vehicles also faced a similar problem. The mass market cars appear to have been spared.

“None of our vehicles has been registered in the past 20 days. We were told that it is a fallout of our manufacturer refusing to pay bribe,“ said a dealer who coordinates with RTOs. An official at a Chennai RTO, on condition of anonymity said, “We have been told verbally not to register certain brands of cars. We do not know anything more.“ But this was contested by some other officers who attributed the pile-up to a large number of their employees going on leave during Pongal. A dealer of high-end cars said 30 cars from his showroom were awaiting registration. “Customers were waiting for the month of `Thai' to begin. They are now putting pressure on us, but we are helpless,“ he said. Meanwhile, a group of vehicle dealers and officials from the vehicle registration department met in Coimbatore a few days ago to thrash out issues. An official said, “A stakeholders' meet was long overdue. There were certain issues to be sorted out.“ He didn't elaborate.

A dealer said it was nothing but the demand from regional transport officers and vehicle inspectors for higher bribes. “They said the amount per vehicle we give to them was fixed almost 15 years ago and it was high time that it was revised. Also, between what we dealers give and what the RTO staff get, there is a lot of pilferage. Obviously , people engaged by us to coordinate registration of vehicles were siphoning off some money . As per the demand at the meeting, we will have to pay them Rs.500 more per vehicle.“
However, official sources said lack of workforce at regional transport offices and the ongoing road safety week celebrations were causing the delay . “Successive holidays contributed to the problem. Officials have been directed to focus on conducting road safety campaigns across the state, including educational institutions. The situation will be back to normal in a few days,“ said a senior transport official.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st Jan 2015.

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