India is a country with absolute imbalance as far as policies and regulations go. Earlier this year, the Indian Government abruptly increased excise duty on cars by 2-5%. This increase came at a time when the automobile sector was already facing a slow down. Soon later, one of the states increased local taxes and registration charges. Now to make matters worse, the Supreme Court (the highest judicial forum of India) has abruptly banned all kinds of sun control films on cars (with effect from 19th May 2012).
The alleged reason for this ban is to curb crimes in the country. The court feels that no sun film will result in no cover for the criminal. This ban has resulted in the shut down of the sun control film industry over night. The industry has players such as 3M, Lumar, Vkool, Garware, etc. People with a Z or Z+ security rating (read politicians, many of which had been declared as criminals by the courts) can continue to use sun films with heavy tint. That, however, is not enough to sustain a heretofore booming industry.
All car owners will have to remove the sun control films immediately. Repeated offenses will lead to seizure of the driving license. Not only will this result in increase in bribes and huge loss of employment, it will also cause wastage of already installed films. India being a tropical climate really needs sun control films on cars. With temperatures soaring between 30-50 degrees Celsius in summers, I have noticed a far cooler car and better efficiency with sun film installed.
Just a few months back, I installed the top of the line 3M sun control film on my Suzuki Swift. This film cuts down 99% of UV rays and has been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. It doesn’t come cheap at a shade above $500 and has a 5-year warranty. I guess I will park my car until India’s government gets enlightened. What would you have done?
Faisal Ali Khan is the owner/operator of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the auto industry of India.