Indian cars are known to compromise on safety to cut costs, well… that is because an average Indian consumer is ready to compromise on quality to get the car of their choice cheaper than their European counterparts.
Just last month we had talked about India made Ford EcoSport which is being exported to Europe but with structural modifications to make it safer in case of a collision. Things thankfully seem to changing for the better in India finally, or let us say, possibly!
As per a report published on Economic Times, the Government is working on tabulating a detailed protocol for safety star rating and is likely to be ready by mid-2014. Manufacturers will be given a two years time line to modify their line-up to fulfil the new laws which will draw inspiration heavily from the popular European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP). The more would be the number of stars, the safer would be the car.
The whole set of rules will be implemented in phases and is being worked on by the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP). Crash safety norms of popular markets like Europe, Japan and the United States are being studied to come up with an India specific module which, we believe, will still be a lot more relaxed, if it eventually comes up that is!
Manufacturers in India would most probably have to phase out their older models as they are unlikely to be any safer even with serious modification. The cost involved will definitely show a major effect on vehicle prices and the increase will definitely trickle down on the consumer’s shoulders. We can expect a near 10 per cent increase in prices because of this.
The Indian ‘sab chalta hai’ attitude should change as the Indian car market is showing welcome signs of maturity. From very limited options a few years back, we have tons of manufacturers offering their powerful and costly cars here.
But the good thing is that more car buyers are showing interests in safety features like ABS and airbags which are standard in almost all bigger markets. This is a welcome news and we may finally see some sense in a country where even the left side ORVM is optional!