Driven by style, luxury - The New Indian Express

Driven by style, luxury

Published: 16th November 2012 09:33 AM

Last Updated: 16th November 2012 11:15 AM

When it comes to showcasing luxury, Kochiites seem to leave no stone unturned. At least that is what the latest figures on the number of cars sold in various categories show.

While the number of high-end cars has been on  the rise, the number of cars registered in the Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh range seems to be on the decline in the city.

The highest price of a car registered in Kochi has more than doubled from what it was last year.

Last year, the highest-priced cars were two Range Rovers worth Rs1.12 crore each. This year it has gone up to Rs 3.49 crore with the registration of a Rolls Royce Ghost.

Kochi also has another Rolls Royce Ghost worth Rs 2 crore 52 lakh. Apart from this, a new Bently Mulsanne worth Rs 3.75 crore is to be registered at the Ernakulam RTO office.

The most sought-after companies in the range of Rs 50 lakh and above in Kochi seem to be Mercedes Benz with 14 registrations this year. Audi and BMW are just behind with nine cars. Jaguar and Land Rovers are also in the list, reveals the data with the Motor Vehicles Department.

But interestingly, the high-end luxury cars are a fad among the men. For, of the 50 cars in the Rs 50 lakh category, fewer than five are in the name of women.

Meanwhile, the number of cars which come in the relatively low-end range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh has gone down this year. In 2011, a total of 5,216 cars were registered in the Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh range. This year, the number has declined to 3,630 cars, ie over 30 percent. Meanwhile, the number of cars in Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh category has increased from 4,166 last year to 4,849.

One of the reasons is said to be the increase in the vehicle taxes. But having said that, the middle-class Kochiites seem to be in no mood for the low-priced cars like the much-hyped Tata Nano or the traditional Maruti 800.

“Some of the cars in the margin of the Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh category have moved to the next range owing to the hike in taxes. But it is also evident that more people are now increasingly opting for higher range cars, above the Swift Dezire and upwards category,” said Ernakulam RTO B J Antony.

But at the end of the day, the Ernakulam Motor Vehicles Department is happy. For, the  revenue that the department has been drawing through road taxes has showed a steady rise. In the 2011-2012 financial year, the MVD has received a revenue of Rs 122 crore till October 31 this year. This is 59.93 percent of its target for this year.

If the going continues, the Ernakulam MVD will be able to beat its target of Rs 204 crore this year, in spite of the fact that this year’s target stands at a 20 percent hike from that of last year.

Even last year the MVD had beaten its target of `159.86 crore by 11.25 percent.

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