SUVs are latest rage on Delhi roads

mean machines

Have you noticed an increasing number of monster-sized Audis and BMWs driving by your side in the city recently?

Macho : A black hummer.

The appearance of a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) on the road brings the traffic to a near halt, not only because of its size, but its brooding looks as well. Heads turn, car window screens are rolled down for a look and bikers move to a distance for the fear of being swamped.

And it is this very macho appeal which is driving more and more young Delhiites into buying these giants. If automobile dealers and car freaks are to be believed, SUVs are ruling Delhi’s roads and their numbers are only set to increase in the coming days.

A quick check with Delhi’s proud SUV owners by Metrolife proves that Mahindra XUV 500, Toyota Fortuner, Honda CRV and Tata Safari are by far the most sought after SUVs in the city. Mahindra XUV 500 was launched here last September, but its popularity is evident in its presence on the roads itself.

Even the makers - Mahindra and Mahindra are surprised by the sales. Gulshan Makhija, senior manager with the company, says, “In just seven months, we have received 25000 orders, and as a result we have had to close bookings for now. We were definitely not expecting such a huge demand.”

Gulshan makes another interesting revelation, “The age group of our customers is largely between 30 to 40 years and 30 per cent of these are women. Mind you, most of them don’t buy these vehicles for their fathers, brothers or husbands. These are highly-paid corporates, salaried class or businesswomen, and believe in flaunting their affluence.”

Makers of other SUVs agree with this statement. Anuj Singh, an assistant sales manager with an authorised dealership of Tata motors, says, “The sale of our SUVs, especially Tata Safari, has never been this good. We have already sold almost twice the number of SUVs this year as compared to 2011, and significantly, a large number of our clientele includes contractors, property dealers and politicians. SUVs are a hit with netas as these vehicles have a lot of safety features and can easily traverse rural terrains for political canvassing. As for property dealers, you see, SUVs go well with people in edgy, rowdy and rough professions.”

But it’s not only muscle men who are going for SUVs. Even family men, who can afford the luxury, are propelling sales. Dharmendra Singh, deputy manager at Indian Oil Corporation, says, “I am definitely eyeing an SUV to give my family the ultimate comfort on road trips. They are spacious, accommodate a lot of baggage and have ample leg room. I am sure the kids will be the happiest.”

And it’s actually kids, rich college-going youngsters to be more specific, who are most enjoying the SUV experience. Surpreet Singh, a Delhi University student, says, “You have no idea what fun it is to drive into the college premises in my Pajero. All eyes rest on me and my mean machine. Of course, guys look forward to being friends with you and even girls request rides.” Ask him about the fuel expenses, and he quips, “My papa is a businessman.”

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