Dilip Chhabria(DC), a world-known automobile designer, was arrested on 28 December 2020 by Mumbai Police’s crime branch. A case of cheating and forgery is registered against him. The police have also seized his DC Avanti Sports Car worth Rs 75 lakhs. The current court case has dented his public image a lot but the world also remembers his marvelous services to the automobile industry. Dilip has provided his services to so many big clients including Bollywood celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Ex Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
Rise of Dilip Chhabra
Dilip Chhabra was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father was a successful businessman. From his childhood only, he had a craze for cars. Most of his notebooks were filled with the doodles of cars. Wherever he used to find a space, he started drawing car designs. Being a commerce graduate, he did not have any plan to explore the automobile design area in the future.
One fine day, when he was going through a car magazine, he came through an advertisement stating ” Do you want to be a car designer?”. The advertisement forced him to think about a future car designing career. He packed his bags to study in one of the best design institutes of Pasadena, USA. He completed a transportation design course from there.
He started his first job as a designer in General Motors but did not like the work culture. Finally, he came to India to start his own car designing company.
His father offered him a small space in his own electric manufacturing company and also gave him 1 month time to do his choice of work. He was also provided with 3 supportive staff. His first product was a ring-shaped horn for a Padmini car. Through a single horn, he earned more money than the one year profit of his father’s company. Dilip’s success convinced his father to hand over the company to him.
In 1992, he gave a new makeover to his own Maruti gypsy car. Remodeled gypsy was praised by everyone and it was just the beginning for Dilip. Later he sold that gypsy to finance the newly founded car workshop.
He worked with Mahindra and brought the design of a very successful Scorpio. And finally, in 1993, he started his own car designing company with the name DC Design.
After producing car body kit for Indian cars for a while, he got his big break in 2003 when Aston Martin approached him for a show car design. His design was showcased at the 2003 Detroit International Motor show and later in 2005, the show car was launched. This event brought DC to the world market and the rest is history.
He has worked with big brands like Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Fiat, Ford, Mahindra, Vinayak Logistics, and Air Work India.
In collaboration with D.Y. Patil Group, he started one of the best Automotive Research Institute in Pune in the year 2010.
2015 was the most productive year for DC design when the company launched DC Avanti, the first sports car of India with a starting price of approximately Rs 36 lakhs. Till now, DC design has sold 120 Avanti sports cars worldwide.
Today, DC design is the largest auto accessory manufacturer in India. DC design with a total of 350 employee strengths has worked on more than 600 designs.
Downfall of DC
Very first time in 2015, DC was dragged to consumer court by Indian Cricketer Dinesh Karthik. The cricketer claimed that the company did not return his 5 lakh advance car payment after he rejected the car in a test drive. Since then there was no such incident happened but the latest cheating and forgery case has jolted DC very badly.
The current scam came to the light when Indermal Ramani, a DC Avanti car owner, was stopped by Crime Intelligence Unit Mumbai over suspicion of the fake car registration number.
Ramani produced all the required documents and the car was registered in Chennai RTO. On further investigation, police surprisingly found that the same car is also registered in Harayana RTO. Then Ramani registered an FIR against Chhabria.
Since it is impossible to register the same car in two RTOs, the police is also investigating RTO officers of Harayana and Chennai to know how it happened.
Mumbai police also found that around 90 Avanti cars were used for financing fraud as well. DC Design used to represent itself as a customer to take loans from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) for buying their own car and that loan was never repaid. On average, 42 lakhs loan per car was issued by NBFC. Later these cars were sold to other customers through financial malpractices. Police are investigating those NBFCs to know the involvement of their employees.
In the latest development of the above case, Chhabria’s lawyer argued in the magistrate court that Kiran Kumar of Lalita Jewellers is running Dilip Chhabria Design Private Ltd(DCDPL). Dilip is just a designer. He also told the court that his client has already registered a case against Kumar on 12 November about how he is forcing Chhabria to agree on his terms.
DC family also told the media that Ramani is one of the associates of Kumar. However, the police produced some documents in the court to clear that DC is the managing director of the company and he is equally responsible for the company’s fraud.
After hearing both side arguments, the magistrate sent Dilip Chhabria to the crime branch’s custody till January 2. Police believe that this is a scam of approximately Rs 40 Crores smartly carried out by DCDPL.