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Old 6th January 2016, 12:08   #1
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Default Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

As a result of the Chennai Floods, a large number of cars that have been written off by insurers or cannot be repaired due to the costs are up for auction.

On Wednesday (6th Jan) , copart.in, an online auctioneer that has more than 100 flood-affected cars at its yard in Sriperumbudur, will conduct an auction.The US-based auctioneer is receiving requests from insurance companies, individuals, bankers and dealers who want to sell their cars on an as-iswhen-is basis. Cars are sold on an as-is when-is basis along with the documents.

These include models from 2014/15 as well as luxury brands like Porsche and Audi. For Wednesday's auction, the price of BMW 3 series starts at Rs 6 lakh, a 2015 Audi A4 is available at Rs 3.4 lakh, and a Porsche Cayenne (2012 model) is available at Rs 5 lakh. Did a random search on the website for the Jetta and found a 2014 Jetta whose base price is Rs 52,000 (Link)


Another auction portal Select Auto Mart (Website Link) has close to 10,000 flood-affected cars put out for sale by insurers from Chennai attracting buyers from across Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi and Punjab.

The article goes on to mention that the buyers mostly buy these for parts.

Trivia: Interesting to see that while there are 16 VW's, 24 Skodas, 30 Hyundai's, 19 Honda's, there are only 6 Maruti Suzuki's. An indication that a Maruti can always be repaired at a decent cost?

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Source: ETAuto

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 6th January 2016 at 12:15.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:16   #2
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

If these cars have been written off by insurers as total loss, then what use it is going to as, for the buyers? A cheap home, with the seats removed?
Can someone buy such cars really, and drive it peacefully like, even like, say a 10 year old car? I don't really get it! Who would be willing to risk their money on a car, which probably will not see the roads?
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:20   #3
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
Who would be willing to risk their money on a car, which probably will not see the roads?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
The article goes on to mention that the buyers mostly buy these for parts.
Many parts like door panels, bonnet, boot lid can be salvaged. In many cases even certain interior parts like door handles, plastic panels can be salvaged. These will sell for a decent price to FNGs who service premium cars.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:28   #4
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

If someone can salvage the glass, that in itself will sell for a major chunk of the money spent.
Suspensions bits, plastic parts, switches and knobs, headlight enclosures, bulbs, filter housing, leads, all the metal panels, bits of the engine, there's a windfall to be made here by savvy people.
AND, with a good enough mechanic, pour in a similar amount, you could maybe get one running again!
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Old 6th January 2016, 13:00   #5
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

Just a crazy idea.

- Buy one of these cars.
- Swap the engine with say, a Verna/Fiesta/ engine
- Correct the electronics involved in a good workshop
- Drive them around as BMW/Audi/Porsche cars

Cost - 7 Lakhs for the Flood Hit Car + 5 Lakhs for the engine and electronics = around 12 Lakhs

For 12 - 15 Lakhs, we will have a luxury car, but with lower running costs!!!
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Old 6th January 2016, 15:50   #6
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

Was just following the online auction on copart.in for some time. Looks like this is a pretty lucrative business considering the sale prices.
  • 2011 Porsche: Base price 7L, sold for 25L
  • 2012 skoda rapid: Base Price 92,000, Sold for 395,000
  • 2011 micra: Base price 52,000, sold for 240,000
  • 2011 volvo x60: Base price 153,000: Sold for 15,90000
  • 2012 micra Base price 52,000: Sold for 250,000
  • 2010 VW Jetta: Base price 123,000 : Sold for 490,000
  • 2015 Swift: Base Price 350,000: Sold for 490,000
  • 2007 Estilo Base Price 52,000: Sale Price 114000
  • 2014 Skoda Octavia Base price 126,000 : Sale Price 10,50,000
  • 2012 VW Polo Comfortline Base Price: 110,000 : Sale Price 3,45,000
  • 2014 BMW 320d Sportsline: Base price 735,000: Sale price: 17,90,000

Pretty big numbers considering these are flood write off cars.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 6th January 2016 at 16:06.
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Old 6th January 2016, 17:15   #7
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
  • 2012 skoda rapid: Base Price 92,000, Sold for 395,000
  • 2011 micra: Base price 52,000, sold for 240,000
Pretty big numbers considering these are flood write off cars.
Pretty strange and these two cars in particular have been auctioned off at a very high price if the sale prices quoted are genuine. 2012 Rapid and 2011 Micra can be had for a lakh or two more from the resale market, who would save 2 lakhs and then buy a flood affected car.
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Old 6th January 2016, 17:24   #8
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

Someone bought flood affected Swift at throwaway price of 490,000
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Old 6th January 2016, 17:58   #9
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

looks like the auction is going on good. in the morning, the site had about 134 vehicles listed under the flood affected category. couple of the BMW 3 series cars and one XUV500 that looked really neat. I am assuming they all had busted electronics & electricals which would cost a bomb to replace and in the market , is it so ? I am not able to figure out why these cannot be repaired if they look overall neat and why they are in the loss category?

And the repair possibility seems to be justified by the prices of some of the cars that are already auctioned.
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Old 6th January 2016, 18:08   #10
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

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Originally Posted by sunishsamuel View Post
if they look overall neat and why they are in the loss category?
You should have seen full pictures of some of those cars. Like the Yeti that is listed there. All seats are dirty. You would probably need to replace them! Mud and dirt all over inside the cabin! It would take good month long time to clean it tip top. Electricals and electronics are different story! But imagine selling an alloy wheel itself is great money for cars in luxury segment! Like it is mentioned, parts selling is big deal for the needy and may not be intended to get the full car operational!

Of course the swift going for 490K is something to think about!
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Old 6th January 2016, 21:06   #11
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

My guess is that a big number of these cars will be bought by second hand dealers who will refurbish it (at a local garage, of course) with their own money, make it look presentable and then sell it at a higher price.
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Old 6th January 2016, 21:13   #12
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
My guess is that a big number of these cars will be bought by second hand dealers who will refurbish it (at a local garage, of course) with their own money, make it look presentable and then sell it at a higher price.
Am pretty sure this is what is going to happen! Did we have the registration number / VIN for these vehicles. I have a hunch, these vehicles will be made to run with minimal repairs and would be sold for a handsome gain.

Those who buy these may end up spending another fortune for the repairs.
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Old 6th January 2016, 21:21   #13
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

All the vehicles have been auctioned except for a Nissan Micra. That's some fast sales!

Last edited by The Rationalist : 6th January 2016 at 21:40. Reason: Wrong information
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Old 6th January 2016, 21:39   #14
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Am pretty sure this is what is going to happen! Did we have the registration number / VIN for these vehicles. I have a hunch, these vehicles will be made to run with minimal repairs and would be sold for a handsome gain.

Those who buy these may end up spending another fortune for the repairs.
I was able to download a dump of the vehicles auctioned today.Good part is that the VIN details are present. Attaching a PDF summary and an excel with more details.

Link to PDF: Copart_Chennai_Flood_Auction_Vehicle_Details.pdf
Link to Excel: Copart_Chennai_Flood_Auction_Vehicle_Details_Excel.xlsx


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rationalist View Post
All the vehicles have been removed from copart.in except for a Nissan Micra.?
The auction was scheduled for today. This was mentioned in the news article. I had created a login and was able to follow the auction. The information would have gone out through their regular channel earlier itself I assume. So, although it was news for us, it was probably well known to the regulars in this market.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 6th January 2016 at 21:42.
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Old 7th January 2016, 09:20   #15
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Default re: Chennai Flood Impact: Large number of cars up for online auction at throwaway base prices

All the cars seem to be sold, except for a 2013 Nissan Micra, whose current bid is at 1.41 lakhs.
How did that Swift sell for 4.9 lakhs? Is there more to the insurance write offs, than meets the eye? Chennai people should probably be wary of such scams at this time.
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