Inter-city buses equipped with wider seats, private television screens and a host of amenities such as a pantry and rest room, are catering to an emerging demand from travellers who want to travel the roads in ‘business class’.

“This is a new segment emerging in the country,” says auto customisation guru Dilip Chhabria. With some buses already plying in Gujarat, Punjab and Karnataka, the trend is catching on in leaps and bounds as service operators seek to create a product with a difference,” he adds.

The design house is also expanding its range of DC showrooms across the country from the current eight to 13 in the next six months. In Pune to launch Aadivenoo Motors, the city’s first DC Design showroom, Chhabria said four more will come up in Noida, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Delhi by the year-end.

“This is not a big industry in India as yet,” he said, adding that in the West it was typically 3-5 per cent of the market size. But, customers’ aspirations were soaring, and DC Design would launch eight to nine new products every year. Though the models would depend on the flavour of the season, the next in line for customisation is the Ford EcoSport, Chhabria revealed.

Speaking about the soon-to-be-launched sports car Avanti, Chhabria said, “This the first time that we are launching a fully built car, and it is an audacious step.” The engine and drive train will be imported from Europe and the new facility at Talegaon to make the car will be up and running by December or January. 

Chhabria is also helping design products that will appeal to Indian tastes for some global auto companies. He declined from revealing names citing confidentiality agreements.