The 13 Kawasaki customers who were duped by Satyen Karandikar, finally got the bikes that they’d paid for. Kawasaki India organised a small ceremony to deliver the machines to their respective owners, the total value of the loss to them is upwards of a crore, which I’m certain they’ll pull out SNK’s ass, one coin at a time. They have the legal power and resources that the customers don’t, which is exactly why this could end in no other way.
The issue is still not completely resolved though, there are a few more people whose claim is being verified by Kawasaki. SNK’s web of lies is far thicker than you can anticipate.
The good part is that Kawasaki is also registering the bikes for the customers, which’ll save them from paying the extra taxes that had increased while this trouble was going on.
Good job Kawasaki, good to see you aren’t half-assing it.
This is a happy end to a sad, ugly event that never should’ve happened to begin with. Here are a few lessons that manufacturers can learn from this experience to help prevent such disasters in the future.
- Don’t give dealerships to someone already known for financial mismanagement.
- If for some reason, you must, keep some deposit for such eventualities.
- When the shit hits the fan, be quick in publicly informing the customers about the fraudulent dealer to make sure that as less number of people as possible are affected.
- Proactively keep the affected customers in communication, tell them what you’re doing, and why. Don’t ignore calls, don’t ignore emails, use your social media channels.
- Definitely don’t tell them “You’re on your own”. Don’t try to wash your hands off, don’t try to brush it under the carpet, it never works. The amount of time and money wasted in denying what has happened is far better used fixing the damn issue. An added bonus is the value your brand imbibes through such an experience.
- Most definitely don’t threaten your own fucking customers with legal action when they send you a legal notice. I understand you were just trying to frighten them, but you are the manager of a giant multinational brand, you should know better.
Sadly, as far as the general public goes, I don’t think this event will make much of a difference. People are fucking stupid, since morning I’ve seen so many statuses on Facebook, where retards are actually praising Kawasaki India, like they never did anything wrong to begin with.
On top of that, they seem to be implying that everyone who criticized Kawasaki India during this fiasco was wrong, that they were never at fault, that this was entirely a dealer thing, that Kawasaki is just giving away bikes because they are awesome.
If you actually believe that, you are an idiot and you should kill yourself.
The only reason Kawasaki India gave the bikes to the customers is because of the social media pressure, they understood that their brand image was taking a hit, and they responded to that. You really think that Kawasaki would just randomly give a crore worth of bikes for no reason, other than sheer goodwill and purity of heart?
Apart from proving how many monumental morons there are in this world, this fiasco also proved just how much in control these big brands are of our respected automotive websites. Over time, I’ve slowly stopped reading most of them, not just because of the sheer boredom that their articles produce, but as a matter of principle as well. All of them purposely ignored reporting on this issue. When they did, they always took Kawasaki’s side.
One site that I still continued reading from time to time was Overdrive, mainly because of the articles of Shubhabrata, and some of Vaishali Dinakaran’s work. However, during roughly the half-year that this scandal raged, Overdrive didn’t publish a single article that even raised a little finger at Kawasaki. In fact, they just published 2, in total. One, when Kawasaki terminated SNK’s dealership, and two, when the customers received their bikes.
The reasons for doing this are rather obvious, but I had expected more from them. Maybe that wasn’t such an intelligent thing to do after all, the entire business model of such magazines and websites depends on the advertisements paid for by big brands like Kawasaki.
How in fucks name can they ever question their literal boss’s behavior?
There was only one positive that came out of this shitfest, that there are still a few people who genuinely care for their fellow bikers, and are willing to do something meaningful for them.
It’s almost sad that all such catastrophic events always begin at Team-bhp, that’s where all the useful content is, that’s where all the relevant conversations happen. It’s only when a thread goes viral over there that you start finding little news stories elsewhere.
Think about it, if you ever get duped by an automotive manufacturer or dealer, the only place that might give you some sort of hope is Team-bhp, a forum filled by random bike and car lovers, all of whom have actual jobs in a wide variety of fields, who are still able to do far more useful stuff in their free time, than some of our respected auto journalists do for their day jobs.
If that doesn’t tell you how insanely idiotic this entire system is, you might as well be dead.
Tushar Burman of Thrill of Driving also came out as a personal hero to me through the course of this thing. Dude can’t only make hilarious, impromptu selfie videos, he also seems to have that sense of reason and responsibility that everyone else has long before sold for a small test ride of a big bike. Kuri Abraham, who was referred to me by Sachin Nair, also helped raise the issue with Kawasaki India people from a unique perspective, one from the side of current Kawasaki owners in the country.
The biggest surprise for me was that online petitions aren’t an entirely useless exercise in wasting online space! This one seems to have helped in solving this issue, although the fact is that it’s impossible to tell what really changed Kawasaki India’s mood, it could’ve been the threat of legal action, or a number of other things. The opaqueness of this entire enterprise means that we’ll never know, there might have been people in the background who made all the difference, yet we’ll never even know their names.
I know I should be happy, this is probably the least appropriate time for a rant, but the problem is this, such things will happen again. Some asshole will always try to run away with someone else’s hard-earned money.
The first line of defense in such a case would be a strict manufacturer that knows its shit. The second line of defense would be an honest media ready to report the facts. The third line of defense would be bikers who are willing to help each other out, for no other reason than empathy.
We have none of them at this time. Our manufacturers can’t seem to be able to give a shit, even about little things like verifying the guy they are handing their “Premium” dealership to. Our media is dead, more or less. And the biking community, in spite of all the “brotherhood” bullshit, is a tattered and torn piece of dirty cloth that does more harm than good when you try to wrap it around a bloody, festering wound.
Take for example the vast number of unbelievable geniuses, who actually got angry with me for writing critical articles against Kawasaki India. They are the same butt lickers who got outraged when I made fun of Triumph’s CEO during their detuning fiasco. Some of them are simple fanboys, others are just annoying little shits.
Their logic is this “It’s not your money, what the fuck is your problem?”.
The entire reason why I even have this shit little website is so that I can upload my frustrations on the internet and get them out of my brain. You really expect that a turd sandwich like me, who cries about every little thing that happens in a 100 parsec radius, will keep quiet when a bunch of bikers don’t get the bikes that they paid for?
Keeping aside for the moment all the logical reasons why I would do such a thing, like empathy, responsibility, and the fact that I surprisingly seem to have a beating heart, you really think that someone like me, who routinely jacks off during such ragegasmic writing sessions, would let this one go, just because you have a misplaced sense of brand loyalty?
When YOU don’t get the bike that YOU paid for, when YOU get stuck in such a situation, then you have the right to stop me from crying about it. As long as the people who were actually affected find it to be useful, shut your shit covered mouth.
If you do wish to open it, write a blog, rant about me as much as you like, at least that’ll do something useful, it’ll help make more people aware that something is wrong.
In fact, send it to me, I’ll publish it on this website, there’s never enough stupidity over here anyway.