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Indian car designer to rock Auto Expo 2008

Renowned car designer Dilip Chhabria is all set to rock Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi next month with two of his really wild creations.

autos Updated: Dec 27, 2007 11:18 IST

One of India's most famous car design guru, Dilip Chhabria, is all set to rock Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi next month with two of his really wild creations.

"There is something very special for the Auto Expo. We have created two concepts, which are really wild," Chhabria told IANS. The exhibition is to be held in New Delhi from Jan 10-17.

Among his most prestigious designs was the car for James Bond in "Die Another Day". Chhabria had also made headlines when he came up with a prototype of the Aston Martin AMV8 in 2003.

Chhabria is now ready to pass on his design expertise by starting a DC College of Designs on the outskirts of Pune sometime in August 2009.

"The project got delayed because we wanted to have a whole new way of teaching. A lot of rethinking is going into the curriculum. The land prices too have appreciated a lot in the last couple of years," said Chhabria.

The college is sure to a big hit with the demand for automobile designers at its peak, given the 15 per cent average annual growth of the Indian automobile sector.

According to Chhabria, 2007 was an excellent year for DC Designs, his one-of-a kind automobile design workshop, spread over 100,000 sq ft on the Mumbai-Pune highway in Chinchwad town near Pune.

"We have shown 60 per cent growth this year with the same number of employees," said Chhabria, who plans to use the Pune workshop to cater to overseas clients.

The workshop is well-quipped to handle 300 vehicles annually. In 2007, DC Designs customised 85 vehicles.

Chhabria is very upbeat about the custom-designed vehicle market at home and abroad.

"On an average, an Indian customer is ready to spend about Rs 4-Rs.6 million ($100,000-150,000) for a custom-designed car, while an overseas client shells out nothing less than Rs 10 to Rs.20 million ($254,000-500,000)."

Chhabria, 53, is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. He also worked at the design centre of General Motors in the US.

Before starting his own designing and prototyping service for the rich and famous, Chhabria had developed his auto accessory business and became one of the largest auto accessory manufacturers in the country.