Indian Olympic medal winners and badminton coach, P. Gopichand, were gifted BMW cars by the Hyderabad District Badminton Association for their excellent performance. The luxury cars were handed by the brand ambassador of BMW in India, Sachin Tendulkar to PV Sindhu and her coach who received a 320d, while others, wrestler Sakshi Malik and gymnast Dipa Karmakar, received the new X1. Dipa has now requested the Hyderabad Badminton association to take back the gifted car and here is why.
Why the decision?
Dipa stays in the well-known town of Agartala, which is the capital of Tripura, a small state in North-Eastern region of the country. The infrastructure of the city is not well-development to handle luxury cars. Dipa says maintenance and use of such luxury vehicles is not possible in such conditions.
North-Eastern region of India goes faces extreme climate situations like continuous rain and landslides, which makes it very difficult for the authorities to develop the roads to make them luxury car friendly. Infrastructure is not the only roadblock to own such luxury cars in the region.
None of the high-end brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have service centres in the region. Even more affordable brands like Skoda and Volkswagen have little or no penetration in such regions and owners have to send the vehicles to nearest developed cities like Guwahati and Kolkata for service.
Was it an intelligent decision?
Such luxury cars are impractical to use in such situations where the roads are often responsible for the breakdown of such vehicles. Such luxury vehicles carry extreme amount of electronics and advanced equipment that can be destroyed because of bad roads and extreme climate. Continuous usage on bad road can lead to inflated repair bills.
Cars like Tata Sumo, Mahindra Bolero and Maruti Gypsy are the best performers on such roads. Also, vehicles with minimal electronic dependance like Maruti Alto are very successful in such situations. So, Dipa’s decision seems very sensible.
The association will exchange the BMW X1 with equal amount of cash but it should have been done in the first place. Knowing that Dipa’s home town does not have friendly infrastructure and she will have to go through a lot of work in order to maintain the luxury crossover, this comes as a mindless gifting idea. It sure did gain BMW some attention but we also have proof now that even a free luxury vehicle cannot be driven and maintained on such roads.
Image Source: TripuraInfo