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About Bimanjyoti

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  • Birthday 02/13/1981

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  1. I agree. Technology is dumbing down our skills as a driver. But you have to accept the fact that this relentless march of progress is for our own benefit (in most cases). I admit that a few innovations like park-assist are utterly useless but others like ABS, EBD, traction control can and do save lives. Besides, the Government cares more about your safety than your driving pleasure, so like it or not these features will slowly but surely become part and parcel of our lives (you should be happy that you are not in the US or Europe where most of these features are mandatory). However if you are a purist and derive pleasure out of driving you can always switch off the TC and ABS
  2. A Mahindra 540 DP. Took a day to start (a week in winter), steering moved a quarter circle without the wheels moving a mm, gearbox protested like hell when you tried slotting it into any gear (no 2nd altogether), brakes were made of sponge and to stop you had to start braking a day before, suspension was made of wood and shattered everytime you went over a Jamun seed (lots of them in our courtyard), and there were so many squeaks and rattles that whenever I drove it I felt like I was on the highway to hell . However I never had an accident in it. It was so bad it made me concentrate... But oddly enough when I look back at it, I think it was kind of fun... in a weird sort way
  3. People who can afford to spend 60 lakhs on a car are all high net-worth individuals, CEOs, business magnates etc. and they want their lifestyle to reflect their economic standing. An MPV, irrespective of whether its made by Mercedes or BMW, just doesn't cut the mustard. So, diesel or petrol, it doesn't matter. The R class in India is a flop. However, the car in itself is brilliant.
  4. The interior is fabulous. The exterior, sadly, hideous. I would have preferred if they continued with the original exterior. People would get the shock of their lives when they pass some unflattering comments about the outside and then proceed to check the interiors...
  5. With your kind of driving you will need to run the diesel version for more than 5 years before you recover the extra you paid for it and the car starts paying you back. Contrary to popular belief diesel versions are not exactly cheaper if you don't drive much. So... go for the petrol. The i20 sportz is a good choice
  6. This court order is a simple case of noble but misguided intentions. Clearly, while passing the order, the court was trying to clean up things a bit. But they completely forgot to take into account the severe implications of that order. Besides the infrastructure development that would be required to adequately supply the now-in-demand fuel, the court also did not take into account the cost burden on the common man. A good CNG conversion can cost anywhere between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 70,000. On top of all that there is the loss of boot space. A better option would be to offer incentives to commercial vehicle operators to opt for the conversion and compulsory conversion of all Government vehicles (starting with Narendra Modi's ride). As for the general public, the Government should better educate the people on the pros of using CNG and allow them to make their own informed choices...
  7. Yeah, you are right on that point. Foreign auto makers still put much of the attention on the driver (which is not a bad thing if you love driving). However in some countries they do listen to the passenger. For example, in China, most affluent types have chauffeur driven cars (like in India) and they put a greater emphasis on rear leg room and comfort than anything else. So Audi and some others sell a few of their premium models with extra rear leg room (not just the A8 L). These models are designed specifically for the Chinese market and are available nowhere else...
  8. All things considered, the fact is you have to live with the car day-in and day-out. With Renault's current service structure, I believe the XUV 500 is a much safer option. Besides if current sales figures of the XUV are anything to go by, you won't be making a bad decision.
  9. Yes I agree with that. But I would like to reiterate that it was the lower duty structure on the CKD kits which enticed these manufacturers to set up a plant. Since the vehicles are imported in the knocked down form, the company needs some place to assemble them. Anyways what we are forgetting here is the main reason these companies give for not setting up a manufacturing unit : Indegenisation. These cars (the low end as well as the flagship models) are loaded to the gills with technology. Even without any duty they would still be prohibitively expensive. To bring costs down most car makers indegenise or source components from local suppliers. (Sometimes they choose the middle ground and decide to assemble where every component is imported and simply put together in a factory.) However, the big three believe that doing so in case of India would force them to compromise on the product quality. This is really an insult because many Indian OEM units are suppliers to a range of big ticket foreign customers. So unless the big three start showing some respect for our production capabilities we are stuck with importing...
  10. You are looking at it the wrong way. Audi, BMW and Mercedes are providing authorised service in India because people are buying their cars in large numbers across the country. And the reason people are buying them is because all three have launched cheap (relatively) models in recent months. These lower end models are imported as CKDs (which attracts a much lower duty thus making the cars cheaper) and assembled locally. So its the large volume thats prompting these companies to offer authorised service and not high custom duties and large volumes are driven by low costs... I mean, wouldn't that be counterintuitive? If duties are very high only a handful of vehicles would be imported and if so why would the manufacturer bother with any kind of service, why would he care? Setting up of authorised service infrastructure involves a large expenditure and there has to be sufficient sales volume to justify that. As an example, Ferraris and Lamborghinis have been imported into India for many years now (although only in 1s and 2s). But until now neither of them bothered with providing any service backup simply because the volume was too low. Now however, with both opening authorised showrooms the availability of company approved service has become a reality... Besides lower duties would bring Mercs and Beemers within reach of a larger number of buyers. This would force local manufacturers to provide better products to less fortunate customers like me who cannot afford a BMW. I will be happy with whatever technology that trickles down to me....
  11. Well, as far as my knowledge goes for a motor car intended for personal use (one designed to carry less than 7 persons) the custom duties are Basic duty - 100% + CVD - 22% + Spl. CVD - 4% + Central Excise Edu. Cess - 3% + Customs Edu. Cess - 3% So if you are importing a car costing Rs. 50 lakhs (Ex. showroom in the country of purchase), the import duty will be : CIF - Rs. 80,63,172.59 (Cost Insurance and Freight) Asses value - Rs. 79,83,339.20 As for Carnets or 'Merchandise passports', they are international customs documents intended to simplify customs procedures for TEMPORARY IMPORT of goods. It implies that once the intended purpose of the imported goods is over they will be returned to the country of origin (and NO, you cannot state that the intended purpose is going to take forever ). In the automobile world Carnets are used by racing teams, overlanders, expeditions etc... Hope you find this information useful...