We were on our way back from an evening-show viewing of Luck by Chance. That’s when I saw the huge, new & upcoming Kalyani Motors showroom on the Ring road. The hubby had already told me about it a couple of days back. The first thought I had was – this will be such a perfect target for the unruly mobs.
As it is with most showrooms, especially in the automotive sector, the entire front facade of the complete structure was in glass – right from the top at the second level till the ground floor entrance. Long, wide, crystal-clear glass sections used to provide an attractive, continuous, eye-catching view to the public.
When I voiced my misgivings about the showroom with its strategic location at the Ring-road and Mysore road junction, the hubby’s reaction was – ‘Of course, what else do you expect? What is the point in having a car-showroom with all the cars on display behind cement and mortar walls?’ That clearly made my point sound completely silly. Nevertheless I persisted with my line of defense.
I am not asserting that the cars should be completed housed behind cement and stone structures. They can have a certain section of their showroom – probably one part of the front facade at the ground level, for the display of the cars while the rest of it can be a normal brick and mortar structure. That way even if some untoward mob incident occurs, the damages caused will be minimal. It wouldn’t be as heartbreaking a scene as seeing the entire 3-level frontal portion come crashing down, as an errant throng throws stones and gleefully watches. This has happened often enough in our city – the Cauvery issue, the days around Dr.Raj’s kidnapping and death, are instances that come to mind easily.
But the hubby was insistent that this would mean disaster for the company’s car sales. ‘It is these showrooms that attract people – that puts dreams into the eyes of the common man, makes him believe that he too can one day be the proud owner of the bright coloured beauty on display in the windows’; he countered. I wasn’t convinced – ‘oh, come on! It’s not as if a guy looks at this showroom window and decides to buy the car!’
I believe, that for most of us Indians, the car is still a luxury. It’s like buying a home – an investment into which a lot of thought and life’s savings goes in. People who buy cars (I am not talking of the elite and the rich/ landlord families/ high society folks here) essentially plan it out – they first decide if and why they need a car, thereafter depending on their requirements they chalk out the features that they want, do a survey of the cars in the market and also those which might be out on the roads in a few months – they look at the mileage, the body built, size, engine-power, performance, efficiency, maintenance-costs, colours, accessories, offers, discounts and of course extent of the hole that it will burn in their pockets. They sift through brochures/ web-sites, do the rounds of the various dealers weighing the offers given by each, explore and study the loan details, get the consent of the family and finally choose an auspicious date for the delivery after they are completely satisfied with all the above points and believe that they are getting the best deal.
Of course, amidst all this, the shining car in the showroom too does play its cameo role. It does get a prospective buyer’s attention – just like a lot of other things do – the ad on TV that tugs at your heart-strings, the neighbour’s slightly altered cocky attitude observed only after he’s a proud car-owner, the colleague’s bragging, the wife’s subtle hints, the children’s nagging, the hope in the elderly parents’ eyes, the soot and smoke while waiting on the scooter at a crowded traffic signal, the longing for the sense of accomplishment and security that comes only by driving one’s own car. Well, like all these – the showroom display is but a cog in the wheel – not the wheel itself – is line of my argument. What say you all?