Justice Done
Bike India|December 2016

Kawasaki India hands over 13 premium motorcycles to enthusiasts who were conned by SNK Palm Beach.

Sarmad Kadiri

ALL IT TOOK WAS ONE rogue dealership to tarnish the image that India Kawasaki Motors (IKM) had nurtured over the years in our country. For those who have not been following this news, over a dozen motorcycle enthusiasts were taken for a ride by SNK Palm Beach, the infamous Kawasaki dealership at Navi Mumbai.

The dealership, run by one Satyen Karandikar, took full advance from unsuspecting customers and instead of delivering the ordered Kawasaki motorcycles, made them run from pillar to post for months on end. Interestingly, Kawasaki India was kept out of the loop for some time and none of the advance payment reached the Japanese company. Though some of the irate customers did contact Kawasaki directly, the company was hoping to settle the matter through the dealership itself. It went ahead and sent a notice to SNK Palm Beach, asking them to either place orders and deliver the bikes to the 13 customers who had paid for them in full or refund the money, preferably with interest, before 31 August 2016.

As events unfolded, Karandikar shut shop, disappearing with all the money overnight, leaving the customers fuming even more. Being the obvious reaction, the irate customers gave vent to their anger and disappointment on IKM. They also received strong support from bike enthusiasts from all over the country who took to social media to display their immense displeasure over the wrongdoing.

Understandably, the last thing a committed brand like Kawasaki wanted was negative publicity and a bunch of really annoyed Kawasaki enthusiasts… especially in a rapidly growing market like India. Making the right decision in favour of their customers, Kawasaki decided to absorb the loss and deliver the booked models to the rightful owners.

At a small event organised by IKM, the 13 concerned enthusiasts were invited to Pune where they were handed their motorcycles. These bikes included models ranging from the Kawasaki Z800, which costs Rs 8.13 lakh, to the latest ZX-10R that costs Rs 16.4 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). All told, the cost amounted to an estimated Rs 1.3 crore.

The Japanese company has already started to prepare its case against SNK Palm Beach and will be taking strong action against the dealership.

Damage control or otherwise, in incidents like this it is good to see the customer finally getting his or her due.

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