Hiring Limousines and Hummers for NRI Marriages in Punjab Hits Covid Speed Breaker, Biz Stares at Closure

On Punjab’s Ludhiana-Ferozepur freeway at his ‘Wedding ceremony Vehicles’ outlet, Talwinder Singh lifts a tarpaulin sheet to disclose a White Hummer H3 which he says was final in enterprise this February. On the close by ‘Royal Limos’ outlet, with one of many largest fleets within the area, Gary Singh has the same plight to share about his Chrysler 300 Limousine that has not drove out since February as properly.

The Covid pandemic has hit the financial system onerous, in addition to a novel and profitable enterprise in Punjab. Yearly, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) come house to Punjab from UK, Europe, the US and Canada for getting weddings carried out of their kin. For the marriage ceremony and to deliver the bride house, they love to rent huge luxurious vehicles as a standing image and to come back as near having the identical works as a wedding carried out overseas.

On the Ludhiana-Ferozepur freeway, one can spot a dozen such retailers on this enterprise, with the choicest of luxurious vehicles placed on show for rent – from Chrsylers to Hummers, BMWs, Bentley, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar and Volvo. In good occasions, it will price about Rs 50,000 to rent a Chrysler or a Hummer for a day whereas about Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 for the others. The BMW convertibles, whose roof opens, have been a rage until final yr as properly.

However not any longer. The pandemic, the ban on flights from overseas and the lockdown has hit the enterprise onerous and it has virtually shut down since February. “Enterprise was sluggish since a yr now. It revived a bit this winter between December and February however the second wave hit us very onerous. Our essential prospects are NRIs who should not coming to Punjab as a result of drawback over flights,” Gary Singh advised Information18.

Talwinder Singh of ‘Wedding ceremony Vehicles’ says he has needed to dump 5 out of the 15 vehicles he owns as he isn’t capable of pay the EMIs of the varied automobile loans. He exhibits a Hummer H3, a BMW Convertible and a Bentley parked in his storage and says they haven’t been set free for final 5 months. “Hummer was quite a bit in demand and fetched about Rs 50,000 for a day. Now nobody is able to rent it even for Rs 5,000. We needed to return advance in numerous instances as marriages received known as off,” he rues.

Singh provides that since marriages should not occurring at a large scale and restricted gatherings are allowed because of Covid, persons are selecting to not splurge on fancy vehicles as that is thought-about a luxurious. “Even NRIs who got here to Punjab early this yr for weddings have been tight on funds because the pandemic has hit them financially overseas too. All this has adversely impacted our enterprise,” Singh says. He says they’re gazing shutting store if flights don’t open utterly to Canada and Europe. “The price of sustaining these luxurious vehicles can be very excessive,” he says.

Enterprise was Booming until 2019

The enterprise was booming until 2019 and many retailers had added to their fleet with greater and higher luxurious vehicles. Even some locals have purchased luxurious vehicles for private use which they used to set free to those retailers for subsequent rent by prospects. The going charge then was about Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 for an Audi4 or an Audi 6 and Rs 30,000 for a BMW, Bentley or a Jaguar. “The craze was earlier for a Mercedes or an Audi however in recent times it’s extra for the Jaguars, Bentley and particularly the BMW convertible,” says Talwinder Singh.

The most important draw, nevertheless, remained the Chrysler 300 Limousine and the Hummer. These wanting a royal expertise of an extended automobile with plush interiors have been able to pay as much as Rs 50,000 for a Limousine. The Hummer, which has featured in Punjabi songs sung by in style worldwide artists, has led to demand for a similar because it portrays a “muscular Punjabi picture” throughout weddings, says Singh. Proper now, nevertheless, each the Limousine and Hummer are cooling within the storage.

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