We did not publish this report earlier but were in contact with the deprived customers who were duped by Kawasaki’s now defunct SNK Palm Beach dealership. We also tried to understand Kawasaki’s version of the same and were assured that things will get resolved. Here is what transpired…
Kawasaki India has taken the right step forward and delivered 13 swanky new motorcycles to the aggrieved customers. The customers had been waiting to get their motorcycles for more than 6 months now. The SNK Palm Beach dealership had not delivered motorcycles despite taking full payment from some. In fact, a few out of these had even started paying EMIs (for something that did not get delivered to them!)!
The Japanese bike maker, which presently retails 5 CKD models and 8 CBUs imported from Japan, has officially communicated that they have ensured that this issue goes to a favourable closure by delivering motorcycles to the customers, which was a responsibility of SNK Palm Beach dealership in Mumbai. Earlier, Kawasaki had terminated all ties with the fraud dealership on 1st September 2016 and now they have announced that they will take legal action against them.
Kawasaki-Palm Beach Ordeal: What Happened?
Unlike some, who are born with an ore of platinum named after them thanks to some long forgotten will, most of us buy a motorcycle after meticulously saving every penny from our hard earned money. Mandheer was one fine gentleman who booked a swanky new Kawasaki Z800. Before this, he was a proud owner of a 2012 Ninja 650. Wanting to upgrade, he sold his bike off and after a down payment of Rs 4.25 lakhs, got the rest of the sum financed from a bank. Little did he know that this was just the beginning of his trouble.
The Kawasaki-SNK Palm Beach fiasco has been a hot topic for motorcycle enthusiasts in the country. Every biking forum is talking about it. Mandheer got in touch with us and informed…
- The entire payment (down payment and loan disbursement) was made on April 27, 2016. Delivery date was set as May 29, 2017.
- Mandheer kept trying to follow up with the dealership in May but the dealership representative, Rathish, never picked up calls and possibly quit towards the end of May.
- Meanwhile, Mandheer had to pay EMIs for the month of June and July. He was informed in the first week of June that his amount will be refunded via RTGS to his account and loan will be cancelled. Of course, this did not happen.
- He intentionally defaulted the August EMI and that started a chain reaction in the bank which made them realise that there is actually no bike bought based on their loan.
- The bank had given loans to 8 of the 14 duped customers and none of them got a motorcycle.
- Mandheer claims that later SNK Palm Beach gave them in writing that the matter will be solved by August 5. As the matter started building up momentum in social media, Kawasaki came up with this message on August 10, 2016:
“Recently, it has come to the notice of India Kawasaki Motors Pvt. Ltd.(IKM) through social media sites and customers, that SNK Palm Beach has a long back order of motorcycles pending delivery to certain customers.
IKM would like to clarify that SNK Palm Beach is an authorized dealer of Kawasaki and is responsible for sales and delivery of Kawasaki motorcycles to its customers. IKM takes customer satisfaction very seriously and is doing everything in its power to solve this issue as soon as possible. We are now communicating with customers to understand their issues and in turn, instruct SNK Palm Beach to satisfy and resolve these issues at the earliest. Please accept our sincere apologies for these delays and thank you for being patient and supportive.”
- While this did seem like a ray of hope but it did not materialise to any amicable solution. Kawasaki went on to claim that they have not received any money from SNK Palm Beach for any bikes. Hence they cannot deliver the bikes. Well, water has now gone past the bridge and none of the customers will be happy with just motorcycles.
- On September 2, 2016, Kawasaki came out with another statement, one which they even posted in leading national dailies:
“The general public is hereby informed that we, India Kawasaki Motors Private Limited (“India Kawasaki Motors”), having our registered office at Bajaj Auto Limited Complex, Mumbai – Pune Road, Akurdi, Pune, Maharashtra – 411 035, had in the year 2015 appointed SNK Palm Beach, having its premises at Shop No. 6 & 7, Plot No. 3A, Gahlot Majesty, Palm Beach Road, Sector 46A, Seawood Nerul West, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra – 400 076, as a dealer for the sale of Kawasaki motorcycles imported or manufactured by us.
It has come to our knowledge that SNK Palm Beach has grossly failed to serve its customers, and has also failed to deliver to the customers the Kawasaki motorcycles booked by them. Further, SNK Palm Beach has committed material breaches of the terms and conditions of the dealership.
Hence, we have terminated the dealership of SNK Palm Beach for Kawasaki motorcycles.
The general public is advised not to deal with SNK Palm Beach in relation to Kawasaki motorcycles. Any person dealing with SNK Palm Beach for this purpose shall do so at their own risk. The public is further informed that SNK Palm Beach is an independent party and is not an agent of India Kawasaki Motors. India Kawasaki Motors is not responsible for, or liable in any manner for, the acts, omissions, transactions, assurances, promises, representations and/or defaults of SNK Palm Beach.
India Kawasaki Motors is fully committed to its valued customers and regrets their poor experience with SNK Palm Beach on account of SNK Palm Beach’s acts and omissions. India Kawasaki Motors is in the process of appointing a new dealer for the Mumbai and Navi Mumbai region. India Kawasaki Motors shall take the possible steps and actions as may be necessary for maintaining customer satisfaction in the Mumbai and Navi Mumbai region.”
- Mandheer and the rest of the aggrieved customers had filed an FIR against the dealership and some Kawasaki personnel as well. They are planning to head to consumer courts to sue the company and get a compensation for the mental, emotional and physical ordeal.
Just to be doubly sure, we connected back with Mandheer to understand if the statement issued by Kawasaki is true. He acknowledged that he has received his motorcycle along with others day before yesterday. While Kawasaki did the right thing in the end, but an incident like this should have never happened.