The Deputy Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Vashi has observed a dip in registration of imported cars in the satellite city in the last few years, claimed its officials.

A few senior officials at the Vashi RTO said this decline could be attributed to the fact that several high-end car manufacturers have shifted their base to the satellite city, thus allowing buyers to purchase vehicles directly from the manufacturing units rather than importing them. This helps buyers cut expenses to a certain extent.

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“Car manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes, have started manufacturing vehicles in India due to which the imports have dipped. This is beneficial for the manufacturer and consumer, as tax gets reduced. Since such cars are manufactured here, they are termed as India-manufactured cars rather than imported vehicles. Also, number of people buying high-end cars has increased. So to expand their market, car companies have set up manufacturing units here,” said an RTO official.

Earlier, an entire car would be imported in a ready to use condition and the term commonly used for it was Completely Built Unit (CBU). But for the last few years, car manufacturers have been importing only engines from overseas and assemble the entire vehicle here itself. This has made high-end cars less expensive in comparison with those imported from abroad.