When the Going Gets Tough...
The modern, ultra-luxury Range Rover seems to be more into luxury than anything else
While the price reduction that is going to be ‘made’ for the Range Rover in India is not much, the larger issue is the perception that an ultra-luxury massive SUV will now cost about half a crore rupees ‘only’. This has put the cat amongst the expensive pigeons in this category of cars, because, earlier, the perception based on the two-door high-end model of the same Range Rover was that it was a Rs1-crore car. 
Is the Range Rover, then, all that it is made out to be? As a status symbol, yes, certainly. Whether it is a head-on challenger against the Japanese, German and South Korean competition remains to be seen; and not because it is not as tough as its lineage would have us believe. The older Land Rovers and Range Rovers, to be fair, were pretty much indestructible. 
The larger issue here is a global slowdown in sales of expensive automobiles. While one reason for this is shifting preferences, despite lower oil prices, a deeper reason is that, much of the world—in and around the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea—is witnessing some conflict or the other. At such times, what sells more are the rough & ready pick-up versions of four-wheel drives which are what Land Rovers used to be famous for.
Sadly, the current models from Range Rover no longer come in such versions. To many, the Range Rover used to mean a larger Land Rover capable of going anywhere in the world, whether a road existed there or not. The modern Range Rover seems more into luxury, unless proved otherwise. 

Ford Drags on

Ford’s new manufacturing plant—up and running in Gujarat—is an amazing story in itself, in terms of speed from idea to execution. Over the past 15-20 years, Ford moved away from Nashik (Maharashtra) as soon as local party politics became more than just a small bother, leaving behind a very pretty factory and paint-shop used as a mini-zoo and horticulture set-up. The state government spent years trying to figure out why Ford moved to Tamil Nadu when everybody else could see the answer as clear as daylight. However, while Ford tends to make decent enough cars in India; now, as before, the lingering impression is that we get those models which are being withdrawn elsewhere. Right from the early days, the Escort, Mondeo, Ikon, Fusion—all now withdrawn—and the more recent Figo, Ecosport as well as Fiesta, have been seen elsewhere, long before showing up in India. This is not going to get Ford anywhere rapidly. They have a couple of good small cars globally in the Ford Ka and Ford Focus brands which would be less obsolete. And, then, there is the Ford Puma, lurking in the shadows, nothing better in the low-priced sports car range.

Taking a Toll

Toll booths have been shut down in 62 locations all over India. How they were up and running, in the first instance, is being looked into; hopefully, there will be some resolution of the toll-booth mafia problem that has spread like cancer. No action could have been possible without citizens pointing this out.
A second list of similar illegal toll booths facing the axe on highways and roads all over India, including projects under construction, is expected. 
If you see what you feel is an illegal toll booth, please use the ‘Public Grievances Portal’ online to escalate the issue. This, incidentally, also includes illegal parking lots. Don’t forget to include a copy of the toll or parking receipt though! In case you need help, do write in to: correspondent c/o Moneylife. 
(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)




Sudheer M

2 years ago

Sir, How do one identify whether it is an illegal toll booth or a valid one? The receipts can be faked and many toll booths does not provide computerized receipts.

I had faced a situation where in I got a pollution control certificate from a place where pollution check is done in a petrol pump. It looked a valid certificate with all the details. Couple of days later, I saw in the newspaper that, the checking center is shut down and the owner is arrested as their licence was not valid for the past 3 years.

So, how does a common man know what are the valid places, be it a toll booth or be it a pollution checking center? My suggestion is that there should be a website which gives the list of tollbooths by NHAI or State government and a similar listing of such pollution checking centers.

Relief for Property-buyers?

The new rules in Maharashtra want builders to sell by ‘carpet area’. But is the government...

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Nifty, Bank Nifty and Sensex may try to stage a rebound – Tuesday closing report
Nifty has support at around 8,300 and may bounce back from there or from a higher level
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty may bounce back, but the bounce would be short-lived. Today, the index witnessed a volatile session, wherein it tried staying close to Monday’s close. However, by 2.19 pm, the index lost its strength and closed in the red for the fifth consecutive session.
Sensex opened at 27,861 while Nifty opened at 8,416. Sensex moved in the range of 27,598 and 27,977 and closed at 27,676 (down 210 points or 0.75%) while Nifty moved between 8,353 and 8,469 and closed at 8,378 (down 70 points or 0.83%). Bank Nifty moved mostly in the green today. It opened at 18,102 and moved in the range of 18,037 and 18,328 and closed at 18,106 (down 7 points or 0.04%). NSE recorded a volume of 94.50 crore shares. India VIX rose 4.49% to close at 17.0300.
The government will soon auction 69 marginal oil and gas fields owned by state explorers ONGC and Oil India, Oil Secretary Saurabh Chandra said on Tuesday.
According to a PTI report, gold prices tumbled by Rs400 to hit its one-week low of Rs26,750 per 10 grams at the bullion market on the eve of the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya.
HCL Technologies posted revenues of Rs4,385.95 crore (up 8%) for March 2015 quarter over March 2014 quarter, while its operating profit rose by just 2% to Rs1,748.92 crore. Its net profit rose by 11% to Rs1,564.74 crore. Its board of directors declared an interim dividend of Rs4 per equity share on the face value of Rs2 each. It fell 3.48% to close at Rs891.05 on the BSE.
Religare Enterprises was the top gainer in ‘A’ group in the BSE, going up 10.55% and closing at Rs385.65.
Sun Pharma was the top loser in ‘A’ group BSE, crashing by 8.86% to close at Rs951.60.  It was also the top loser in the Sensex 30 pack. Today, Daichi Sankyo exited the stock, following the merger with Ranbaxy which was earlier taken over Daichi. Sun promoter Dilip Sanghvi is rumoured to have increased his stake. However, clarification is awaited from the company. It filed its shareholding pattern as on 10 April 2015 which showed that the promoter shareholding fell from 63.56%, as at the end of March 2015, to 54.71% as on 10 April 2015. FIIs too reduced their holding to 18.82% from 19.97%, while DIIs increased their holding from 4.55% to 5.17%, and retail shareholding increased from 11.92% to 21.30%, for the relevant period. Sesa Sterlite (1.59%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack.
On Monday, US indices closed in the green. Except for NZSE 50 (0.12%), Seoul Composite (0.09%) and Taiwan Weighted (0.20%) all the other Asian indices closed in the green. Hang Seng (2.79%) was the top gainer. European indices were trading in the green. US Futures too were trading higher. Eurozone finance ministers are scheduled to hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the state of negotiations between Greece and its international creditors. Greece needs to strike a deal within the next few months to secure billions of euros in bailout aid to avoid defaulting on its debts and potentially exiting the euro.


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