If you think you can simply relax after parking your luxurious car next to your doorstep, then be prepared to be disappointed and unnerved. Your car may not seem the way you expect to see it, the next time you take a look at it. Every minute, there is someone who is gazing at your car – not because of its patent features but because of its side mirrors. Be prepared to purchase an extra pair of side mirrors for your car in the event of the existing ones being stolen. Your side mirrors have a larger probability of being stolen than your car does. Moreover, if your car of foreign design and production, a luxurious one at that, then the probability increases even further.
Mid-sized car manufacturing companies like Honda and Skoda use the most expensive side mirrors amongst their counterparts. The ‘upper middle class’ families, which to accommodate these mid-sized cars through their savings, are therefore facing a greater problem. Furthermore, it is expensive for them to replace the stolen mirrors with original company trademarked ones. This induces the customers to purchase locally painted side mirrors available for a lesser deal, which not only decreases the car’s market value but is also responsible for the an awkward look.
The areas where it is not possible to have the cars parked within the home premises are the main target areas of these thieves.
“I frequently face the problem of the side mirrors being stolen by the thieves. They even dare to do that in the daytime!”– says Mr. Ashok Kumar, an owner of a Honda City and a resident of Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi. There is a customary well-defined grey market for these mirrors and the customers end up becoming victims. The buyers end up purchasing grey market mirrors (which most probably, are stolen items themselves) at a lower price. The sellers are ready to sell them at any bargained price, as there is no cost involved. In most cases, the sellers are esteemed shop owners and with all-encompassing contacts with thieves from different localities who steal these mirrors and other expensive spare parts. The irony is that the purchasers are actually approaching the thieves indirectly and paying for what they had already paid, when they had bought the car.
The grey market leads to a non-economic activity and generation of inappropriate funds, which are not accountable in the national income. Such a great chain of a non-economic activity needs to be busted immediately.We often blame the stationed guards for not taking care of cars during the night, but mostly these guards are fait accompli, getting a share of the commission from these mirror-thieves.Now who is to be blamed? The company, for manufacturing expensive spare parts; the customer, for purchasing cars that suit their pocket or the thieves, who work on commission-basis after facing an agitated unemployment for years? The crux of the matter is that nobody can be adjudged as a culprit. It is just an illusionary market created with the forces of demand and supply. Once we stop demanding the stolen mirrors, they will not be supplied in the market.We have to take the initial step in order get out of this viscous circle, by not purchasing the stolen mirrors. This action would act as an incentive for the thieves to work harder and to find a job; they presently work on a commission-basis for shopkeepers in the grey market. We have the advantage and opportunity to take a positive step and create an atmosphere of change. Being a part of this society, our attitude of shrugging off responsibilities should not be acceptable.
[Image source :http://www.flickr.com/photos/arlette/176173666/ ]