Muscat: A luxury car shipped to Kerala in India from the Sultanate with an Omani number plate has become quite a rage in the country.
A one-of-its-kind in India, the Lotus Elise has become a cynosure of all eyes. People have gone crazy and are rushing to get clicked with the car.
The proud owner of the car, Dr Nithin RS, the boss of Axis Group of companies in Oman, is all over the social media for his wonder car. For Indian youth, it has become the opportunity of lifetime to get clicked with the amazing car.
For them, the car which they have often seen in video games, is present before their eyes. Wherever Dr Nithin visited, a group of people surrounded the car and took snaps.
The entrepreneur has been getting offers for complementary services like car wash, car detailing, ceramic coating, movies and commercials.
He was also invited to the go-karting track for a drive. During its course, he made many new friends and was surprised to see that there were so many auto enthusiasts in India. Not everyone in India knows about these luxury supercars. They become very inquisitive on seeing the yellow Omani number plates.
As the name of the country is not printed on the nameplates unlike other GCC nations, Dr Nithin feels proud of telling them about Oman and the different cars, associations and groups present here. People in India seem happy to know about Oman Automobile Association, drift events and the new track being prepared for racing.
He said, “People have posted taglines like ‘A missile from Oman’, ‘Mini rocket from Muscat’ on social media accounts.
When asked about the transfer procedures, he said “the car is taken by Carnet, and you have to approach the Oman Automobile Association to do the documentation work for a fee and also a bank guarantee as per the value of the vehicle. One also needs an Exit NOC from ROP.”
“Once you have the above documents, you can ship it via any shipping company to India. It takes 15-20 days to reach India. You need to contact the Indian Automobile Association to get an NOC from them along with a local third party insurance.
"Once the car arrives, you can clear it via a cargo clearing agent or by yourself by submitting the documents with Indian customs. Once they finish the procedures and inspection, you can take the car out of the port but you must send the car back within 6 months of the import, if anyone needs to know about the detailed procedure, documents, etc.”
He added: “The automobile bloggers and YouTubers are so powerful in India and have thousands of fans following. I must salute their dedication and hard work. Some of them waited for 4-6 hours in front of the port while I was doing the cumbersome customs clearance. These bloggers waited outside for hours to see the car and do a full review.
"I was surprised with their homework as they knew 10 times more about the car than me. Their edits and presentation skills are comparable with international auto YouTubers. A few came all the way to my city in Thiruvananthapuram which is a 4-5 hours drive and did a detailed review. Many more requests for review are pending which will be done in the coming days.”
Manufactured by Lotus England, the company has been in business since 1948. Since then, the brand has done an impressive job of building incredible lightweight cars.
The Lotus Elise is a perfect reflection of this and has been a favourite for a very long time. The first generation was launched in 1996 and it has captured the hearts and minds of many enthusiasts and gone on to become one of the best British cars ever made.
Its lightweight, stripped-out, agile and communicative features makes it one of the finest handled cars on the road. All that performance and pin-sharp handling comes at the expense of practicality, comfort and refinement, though.
The Lotus Elise remains one of the very best driver’s cars around and one of the best-handling road cars of all time.