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Porsche likely to make a foray into pre-owned car business in India

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Globally, the company sells pre-owned cars under its Porsche Approved brand

Luxury sports car maker is planning to enter pre-owned car business in India in the medium term as it looks to enhance customer base in the country, according to a senior company official.

The company, which sells a range of luxury sports cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) such as the 718, 911, Macan and Cayenne priced between Rs 69.98 lakh to Rs 1.63 crore, currently has a total of about 3,500 customers in India.

“We are seriously looking at the pre-owned car business. Our car parc is more than 3,500 cars. It’s a sizable number. We are exploring the right format for used car business,” India Director Pavan Shetty told PTI.

Globally, the company sells pre-owned cars under its Approved brand.

When asked how soon will the company start the pre-owned car vertical, he said, “This is a mid-term plan, it cannot be a long-term plan…We don’t have a timeframe right now because there are so many projects going on but we understand the potential of used car business and we should be able to see the light of the day very soon.”

Exuding confidence of doing well in the used car business, Shetty said, “We are one of the few brands that offer warranty up to nine years. A nine-year warranty for a car talks about the quality itself. When you have a duty structure (on imported luxury cars) that we have in India, a lot of people would like to realise their aspiration mid-cycle because the quality is great and the car doesn’t break down.”

He further said the span of warranty that the company offers to its cars gives window for two owners during the period if the first owner decides to upgrade mid-way.

“So, for us, the second one is the foot in the door, who will then automatically graduate to a new car,” Shetty said.

When asked about the sales outlook for 2020, he said it is difficult to put a number at the moment but is looking to build on what it achieved in 2019, which was a challenging one for the auto industry.

“In 2018, we did 348 cars and last year was a bit challenging for the auto segment but we ended up with 350 cars. We are quite pleased with what happened last year and we hope to build on the momentum this year… I think 2020 would also be on the lines of 2019,” Shetty said.

Porsche is looking at launching sports car Panamera, 10th year edition towards the second quarter this year followed by electric car Taycan towards the end of this year, he said.

First Published: Sun, February 16 2020. 10:48 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Coronavirus set to claim a series of corporate victims as Brighthouse and Carluccio’s near collapse

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The coronavirus is set to claim a series of corporate victims this week as Brighthouse and Carluccio’s near collapse. 

Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators today after the lockdown tipped it over the edge. 

And Italian-style restaurant chain Carluccio’s is working with administrators FRP to ‘consider all options’ in a move which could threaten more than 2,000 jobs. 

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

Carluccio’s chief executive Mark Jones said that his company is ‘days away from large-scale closures’ without state aid, while a group of 38 MPs have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to step in with an aid package to support the aviation sector as travel bans have decimated bookings. 

Research from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has revealed that the number of restaurant insolvencies last year climbed 10 per cent to 1,500, while the number of pubs which went bust also increased by 10 per cent, to 500. 

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Locked down zoo saved as Lloyds Bank stumps up £300,000

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A Somerset zoo that was forced to close its doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic has bagged £300,000 of funding to help it survive. 

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year, but was facing substantial costs to look after more than 1,000 animals. 

Lifeline: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

Lifeline: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

Lifeline: Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

However, the family owners were able to breathe a sigh of relief after agreeing a £300,000 package with Lloyds Bank which will allow them to retain their team of specialist staff. 

Lenders are under pressure from the Government and Bank of England to support businesses through the lockdown. Lloyds has worked with Noah’s Ark for the entire 66 years the Bush family has been on site. 

Managing director Larry Bush said: ‘Running a zoo is a huge undertaking and we were really concerned about our animals. 

‘But our catering suppliers donated fruit and veg that would otherwise have been delivered to local hotels and restaurants, and the public have shown their support.’ 

 

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Arcadia halts £2m pension top-ups as it tries to cling on to cash in face of coronavirus lockdown

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Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is suspending payments to its pension scheme as it desperately tries to cling on to cash in the face of the coronavirus lockdown. 

Arcadia, which owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins, will halt the £2m monthly contributions which were agreed with The Pensions Regulator last summer to reduce a shortfall in the pension scheme. 

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green's Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green's Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

The deal saw Sir Philip’s wife, Tina, who technically owns Arcadia, agree to plug the gap in the scheme by also making her own £25m per year contributions. 

She will continue to make those payments, despite the crisis hitting High Street sales. 

But pensions expert John Ralfe, who advised MPs investigating the collapse of Sir Philip’s High Street chain BHS, estimates that if Arcadia were to go bust the current shortfall in its pension scheme would be around £350m to £400m.

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