Mandatory 6 airbag rules in India will hurt sales: Maruti Chairman RC Varghese

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country’s largest carmaker, has expressed concern that the new rules will make cars more expensive and drive cars, following the recent announcement by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari to make six airbags mandatory for cars in India. Out of a portion of potential buyers.

6 Airbag rules will hurt sales: Maruti Chairman

Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Varghese said such a move would hurt sales of small, low-cost vehicles and put more pressure on already high-cost companies.

“This will increase the small car market and hurt the small and poor people who can’t afford more expensive cars,” Varghese said in an interview with Reuters. If the model is sold at a higher price, there will be significant losses in the lower end of the market, where there is a huge price sensitivity, “said Varghese. Continue riding luxury automobiles.

According to auto market data provider JATO Dynamics, most cars in India sell for around $ 10,000- $ 15,000, and adding four more airbags on top of the mandatory driver and front passenger airbags would add an additional 17 17,600 ($ 231). Ravi Bhatia, president of JATO India, said that in some cases, the cost could be higher as companies would have to change the engineering of the vehicle’s structure to accommodate the extra airbags.

6 Airbag rules will hurt sales: Maruti Chairman

In India, where there are currently some of the deadliest roads in the world, a total of 135,000 deaths were recorded in 355,000 road accidents in 2020, with car passengers responsible for 13% of the deaths. As a result, India’s Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari unveiled a draft proposal in January to make six airbags mandatory on all passenger vehicles manufactured from October 1. Currently, in draft form, the rules have not yet been finalized

According to some sources close to the government, India’s Ministry of Road Transport is adamant in its plans and is pressuring automakers to abide by the rules. The ministry estimates that four additional airbags will not cost more than $ 90, but it is still facing resistance from automakers. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, meanwhile, said “side and curtain airbags are not mandatory anywhere else in the world” and urged the government to “examine and reconsider” the guidelines.

The industry lobby organization warned the ministry in early February that, given the gradual increase in automobile spending in recent years, there should be enough time for the need for additional airbags “to avoid the risk of industrial growth losses”. The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) has advised the ministry that it could meet the increased demand for airbags, but it would take 12-18 months to increase domestic production.

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