DC Avanti Story

DC Avanti is arguably the biggest scam in the history of the Indian automobile industry. It was orchestrated by the mastermind and owner of DC, Dilip Chhabria. Chhabria is a well-known and accomplished name in the Indian automobile industry. After completing his degree, Chhabria began customizing cars, attracting many renowned celebrities as his clients. He is also credited with designing the famous ‘Tarzan’ car for a movie released in 2004.

After years in automobile design, Dilip Chhabria ventured into car manufacturing. In 2015, DC launched India’s first sports car, the DC Avanti. This two-door, two-seater model was offered in a single trim with a range of optional extras. Its body was made of carbon composite material and was based on a high-strength steel chassis." However, the DC Avanti wasn’t a luxurious offering, and its standard features were limited to comforts like air conditioning, power windows, electrically adjustable outside rear-view mirrors, and faux leather upholstery. In terms of safety features, the Avanti offers disc brakes on all four wheels with ABS and a 3-point seatbelt. However, the car did not have airbags.

The Avanti Scam

It all began when Mumbai’s Crime Branch initiated an investigation into a unit of the Avanti that was allegedly operating with fraudulent numbers. The team was unable to contact the owner, who possessed all the legitimate paperwork for the car. In a surprising twist, the police discovered that the same engine and chassis number was registered to another car in Haryana.

Further investigations revealed that DC Design Pvt Ltd had secured multiple loans, averaging Rs 42 lakh per unit, by posing as customers for their own model. It was reported that about 90 of the 120 Avanti cars sold were financed in this fraudulent manner. This scheme was apparently executed to evade high taxes on such premium cars.

On December 28, 2020, the CIU team of the Mumbai Police arrested Dilip Chhabria after his company was accused of obtaining loans from some non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) by masquerading as customers for their cars. Following Chhabria's arrest, the fate of DC was sealed, leading to the cessation of further car production.

Apart from the scam, another major reason for discontinuing the production of the DC Avanti was its failure to comply with strict automotive safety regulations. To illustrate, the car lacked basic safety features, such as airbags