Is your car really germ-free?

For many of us, our car is like our second home. We use our cars as essential transportation for work, dropping the kids off at school or a set of wheels for a trip. Despite spending so much time in the car, very few of us actually keep our vehicles clean and by clean we are not just referring to an external car wash. The sanitization of your car from inside is more important than many people realize.

If you believe that touching a public elevator button or sitting on a public toilet is bad and can spread diseases, the germs found at a gas pump might send shivers up your spine. Compared to other public locations where the germ count was in the hundreds, the average gas pumps measure in the millions. Some bacteria, like E-Coli & Staphylococcus, which are found in our surroundings, are responsible for a multitude of complications like skin infections, food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.

According to a study conducted by Queen Mary University, London, it was found that a car’s steering wheel has four times more bacteria on it than on a public toilet seat.

Most of us have no idea how harmful it is to not disinfect our cars. Surface cleaning just helps in cleaning the stains and some contaminants on the outside and leads to a shiny looking car. But the microorganisms present inside the car cannot be seen. With automobiles being a confined space, it is very easy for bacteria and viruses to grow and spread. This is why a thorough disinfection of the car is very important.

As many people don’t tend to sanitize their cars, layers start to build up, and when the sun rays fall directly on the car, it warms up making the vehicle a reproducing ground for the germs and viruses. It just takes around 30 minutes at high temperature for microorganisms to multiply.

According to experts, it is stated that more than 800 types of microorganisms which include various types of deadly viruses and bacteria can grow in your car if not cleaned regularly. The air conditioner of the car acts as the breeding ground for microbes. Also the high contact zones of the car such as the steering wheel, doorknobs, gear stick and seat belts have germs and bacteria on them.

Permagard’s Antimicrobial Shield

Permagard’s Antimicrobial Shield eliminates germs, bacteria, and viruses using a highly efficient antimicrobial formulation. This technology gives protection from 99.99% microscopic organisms by creating an invisible shield which acts as a barrier for the microorganisms.

This product cleans and sanitizes your car’s interior. Lysis technology attacks and kills viruses and germs by puncturing the lipid cell membrane of the microbes destroying its structure completely.

It acts as a shield on the surface of the car’s interior so that the germs and viruses are killed as soon as the microorganism comes in contact with the molecules of the antimicrobial shield.

Some of the unique advantages of Permagard Antimicrobial Shield:

  • The hypo-allergenic properties of this treatment allow it to be used in confined environments such as car cabins.
  • By killing germs at a microscopic level, that too without using any toxic products such as alcohol, dehydration or poison.
  • As this product is non- toxic, it is safe for infants, adults and pets.
  • As it is applied through aerosol spray method, it does not leave behind any oil stains
  • This is a DIY (Do It Yourself) product
  • Once applied, your car is protected for upto 12 months.

Permagard’s Antimicrobial Shield works on eliminating Microbes, Stains, Moulds, mildew spores, virus and also bad odours.

See how beneficial is the Antimicrobial Shield


Covid or No Covid, one should follow the practice of cleaning the car thoroughly from time to time. It is very important to keep your car clean and hygienic to protect yourself and your family from illness-causing germs and viruses.

To protect your car interiors do visit

For the readers of, we have a special code autop10 which will give a special 10% discount on purchase of this antimicrobial.

Automobile Dealership Business… Kal Aaj aur Kal…

This article shows how Automobile Dealership Business has transformed over the years – Hence the name ‘Kal’ (yesterday), ‘Aaj’ (today) and ‘Kal’ (tomorrow)

Kal (The History)

The business of automobile dealerships has been glamorous from early days. It was looked upon by rich businessmen who could get car dealerships with lot of influence, have sizeable showrooms and well known by the Who’s Who of the town. A lot of people wanted to get into this business as it had a lot of glamour with celebrities attached to new cars, international conferences, and obviously a lot of media attention. Customers had to wait for days or months to get their preferred car or bike, production was limited and the demand was higher. It was post 2002-2004 (influx of multiple OEMs in India) when a lot of people got into this business considering that they would just need to make an investment and have the right people and the business would go on and they would keep making money from it.

Traditionally a car dealership was made by investing in property and with at least 50% on working capital as getting loans was always difficult those days. But with the advent of international brands and the booming growth in India along with the buzzing real estate sector – We saw that there were a lot of new entrants in this business who are willing to take the risk by paying high rents, and where also willing to borrow their entire working capital on interest. This was when landlords and banks became sleeping partners of this business, and with the complex business that a car dealer handles it takes a long time to understand whether the losses are from the profit or from the capital.

Business Transition –

The business had gone through a lot of changes with the advent of customer delight initiatives, changing technologies, fluctuating government regulations, intensive manpower orientation, factors like JD power, competition between brands to attend highest market share, lowest prices and the highest customer satisfaction. The requirement for infrastructure and new showrooms and workshops also started getting mapped with competition and aspirations of brands. Since the going was good, higher risks were taken of investing with an expectation to break even with growth in future years. We never made a provision in our thoughts or books or plans to handle any sort of situation we would not be earning for a few months for a few quarters. The question of viability and profitability shifted from actual cost and expenses to a future goal of cost and expenses.

The varying government regulations played a very important role in changing the dynamics of this business. Frequent changes in pollution norms forced dealers to sell of their stocks at low prices when the deadlines approached, the losses sometimes were five times of what the dealerships would earn on that car! The regulation by IRDA on the insurance payouts, Cost of increased manpower for complying with statutory requirements such as data entry for registration, Fast Tag, TCS (Tax Collected at Source), High Road taxes in certain states forced customers to buy or register from other states where clause were cheaper,  the intervention of CCI and competition norms along with multiple dealers in cities – Discounting became rampant and again dealers started draining their margins in lieu of additional target incentives that they would achieve in future.

Automobile Dealers come under a minimum of 29 acts for statutory compliances & a lot of time & money goes in compliance of various departments & regular visits by various departments is a norm for this industry.

Demonetization brought in a sudden slowness in the business as a lot of customers especially rural  started to fear to buy cars  by paying in check or taking a loan, these customers where used to buying their car in cash as they were primarily agriculturists. Introduction of TCS, linking of Aadhaar to PAN card and the introduction of CIBIL ratings further slowed the process of decision making of buying an automobile. While I agree that all these developments are good for the economy and I am a firm believer that we should do clean business, but customers from different sections of the society who were used to a certain way of working from generations were finding it difficult to adapt to the new as said organised style of working!

In this journey we saw that the income sources for dealers started getting squeezed and in the journey of delighting customers and doing things differently, costs began to go up.

Just before the days of Covid19 – The Profit after Tax (PAT) of a dealership had fallen to -0.50-1% of the total turnover, which was a result of Total incomes from sales, service, other incomes & spares which was between 9-11% & the expenses were between 8% to 10% depending on location & turnover. Which means that we did not even have a cushion to survive for 25 days without running operations or even handle 3 months of slowdown of 50%.

Dealer Margins of the Automobile Brands in India (Source: FADA)

New car margins internationally are at 10-12% & interest cost in these countries is at 1%-3%; whereas in India our margins are at 2.75%-5% & interest cost is at 9%-11%.

Aaj (The Scenario as of Today)

Now with the current scenario the entire business case has gone through a change where we have restrictions on manpower due to social distancing, customers are not willing to travel, Most cities under lockdown, Interest on term loans & working capitals is piling up, Cash flows in most businesses are chocked, Dealers are still holding stocks of BS4 vehicles which are not selling & will have losses arising therefrom, Cost of sanitization has gone up & so on…

However; we need to be patient & go slow – step by step and ensure health & hygene is of utmost importance in this period.

Kal (The Way forward for Tomorrow)

The new tomorrow for this business will need dealer principal involvement to a high extent in controlling & redesigning the expense patterns of the dealership as each city/market will react differently.

  • Reaching a cost to income equilibrium will have to arrived after a study of the next few months & the engagement with OEMs at this stage is of utmost importance.
  • New ideas to generate incomes like selling health insurance, other general insurance & new streams will have to be explored.
  • Need to re-look at the infrastructure invested & need to trim/shut some outlets to attain cost effectiveness.
  • Digital initiatives are undergoing their test & results after a few months will answer whether this industry will embrace an online sale or no?, but the initial reactions of customers are that they still prefer to touch & feel the car.
  • We have to redesign our manpower structures which have to be top light & bottom heavy. (more productive workers & less managers)
  • Considering Social distancing we may have to work more shifts to ensure optimum utilization of infrastructure.
  • Vehicle stocks in quantity & ageing have to be on strict vigil, Spares inventory management is also a key as huge losses occur when parts get obsolete.
  • Restructure your loans & convert some loans to long term & ease working capital.
  • We need to have a strict control on credit to leasing companies, corporates, government & customers and stopping credit facility for some time is recommended under current situations.

(The article is written by Mr.Sachin Shah. He is an auto enthusiast with over 21 years of Experience in Auto Dealership Business. He has worked at all levels of a dealership – right from a Salesman to now a Dealer Principal. He has a lot of interest in the entire working process of a Dealership, Accounts, Finance & Legal. He has also been involved in various organizations like FADA, KADA & Dealer Council.)

Tata AIG offers telematics-based motor insurance through “AutoSafe” tracking app and device

Tata AIG launches ‘Usage-based Insurance Private Car Policy’ with flexible options 

TATA AIG General Insurance Company Limited launched an innovative telematics-based next-gen application and device ‘AutoSafe’ today. The app helps policyholders to save on premiums by selecting the kilometers driven, promotes safe driving, works as anti-theft device as it comes with a GPS-based tracking facility. Available on all policies offering personal accidental cover to the tune of Rs. 15 lakhs for owner and driver, this app also tracks distance traveled by the vehicle, live speed and other driving pattern parameters and offers bonus kilometers for good driving behavior at the time of the renewal, thus, promoting safe driving habits.

The usage-based insurance (UBI) private car policy for car owners, launched under the IRDAI’s Regulatory Sandbox, is personalized, affordable and offers a customized solution towards your driving profile. This policy includes other value-added propositions like depreciation reimbursement, daily allowance, no claim bonus protection cover etc.

Policyholders will benefit from the policy’s flexible kilometer-based package that enables savings on premiums compared to conventional policies. Policyholders can choose between 2,500 kilometers, 5,000 kilometers, 7500 kilometers, 10,000 kilometers, 15,000 kilometers and 20,000 kilometers. Customers having exhausted all the kilometers within the policy period can buy additional kilometers by opting for the top-up kilometers option. They can choose between 500 kilometers, 1000 kilometers and 1500 kilometers, thus, helping savings on cost based on usage.

The ‘Auto Safe’ device is GPS-enabled and is linked to a mobile app that records all information, tracks the distance traveled and generates reports about vehicle health or driving patterns of the policyholder. This telematics device or app is fitted or linked to the car as the motor insurance policy becomes active and must be kept throughout the policy period. The information collected is evaluated over time and each driver cum policyholder is allocated points based on performance. Besides, this device contains motion sensor support and generates fuel-saving reports apart from monitoring aspects like hard braking, nighttime driving and acceleration. Also, this device guards against fuel slippage and dangerous driving habits.

Speaking during the product launch, Parag Ved, Executive Vice-President & Head- Consumer Lines, Tata AIG General Insurance said, “At Tata AIG, we have always been persistent in our approach to provide customers with innovative and practical solutions. With the regulatory sandbox permitting telematics-based solutions, insurance will evolve to become more intuitive and responsive to the customer’s needs. We are meticulously working to arrive at new ways to enhance the experience of our valued customers. The value proposition is based on value-added services, personalized advice based on driving behavior and the rewardTechnology innovations can change the insurance paradigm, gone are the days when it used to ‘one size fits all’ approach. It is time for personalized insurance products. The shift towards pay-as-you-drive insurance makes sense in this uncertain time when unnecessary journeys are discouraged, and organizations and employees alike are discovering the benefits of working from home.”

Segmentwise Car Sales Statistics – May 2020

Segmentwise Sales Snapshot – 

  • Mid SUV was the best selling segment of May’20. Even India’s best selling Car for May’20 was from this segment (Hyundai Creta). The segment saw the lowest YoY degrowth.
  • MUV’s came second in the ranking table for the best selling segments. Here too; India’s second best selling car for May’20 – Ertiga was an MUV.
  • Premium Hatchback segment registered more dispatches than the Compact Hatchbacks too and the segment ranked 3rd!
  • Premium Sedan emerged as the worst performing segment for May’20. Only 39 Premium Sedans could be dispatched in May’20.

Lets see the best selling models in the respective segments for May 2020 – 

1. Mid-SUV Segment –

2. MUV Segment –

3. Premium Hatchback Segment – 

4. Compact Hatchback Segment – 

5. Compact SUV Segment – 

6. Compact Sedan Segment – 

7. Entry level Hatchback Segment – 

8. Vans – 

9. Executive Sedan Segment – 

10. Premium SUV Segment – 

11. Luxury Sedan Segment – 

12. Premium Sedan Segment –