Recently, a well-dressed man walked into the Hyundai Motors Plaza on Mathura Road. He wanted to test drive a Hyundai Accent. The dealer authorised a salesman to accompany him. The man requested the salesman to let him drive around in Greater Noida. Once there, the ‘test driver’ stopped the car, flashed a gun, ordered the salesman out and fled with the vehicle.
"Ugly incidents do take place, but we cannot stop people from testing our vehicles,” says a Hyundai executive.
The latest fad to hit town is a free-of-cost ride in your favourite car for as long as an hour and as fast as the car can go. Varun Manchandani, 22, regularly goes for test drives. The experience, he says, helps him take a break from his MBA preparation. “No one has ever asked at a showroom if I have the money to purchase a high-end sedan,” he says.
According to industry officials, only 10 per cent of test drives translate into sales. A Maruti spokesperson says, “A well-networked youngster who knows the current trends has the potential to sway the opinion in his social network.”
Talk about getting a licence!