As the government of India is gearing up to enforce strict safety norms from 2017, the country’s largest passenger car manufacturer is looking to introduce safety systems as an optional package much earlier than this timeline, reports PTI. The safety package which is likely to incorporate driver airbag and ABS would be made available even on the base variants of mass market budget brands like the Maruti Alto 800 and Alto K10.
Currently, MSIL offers certain safety features only on the higher variants of the Maruti Alto 800, Alto K10, Swift, Dzire, Ciaz, etc. The first car to benefit from this strategy is the newly launched Ertiga facelift which can be specified with safety features irrespective of the variant. The Ciaz will soon receive a similar safety package option.
While automakers like Toyota and Volkswagen have started offering safety features as standard fitments across model ranges, MSIL’s strategy to offer them as optional extras stems from the price sensitivity of the small car segment.
The implementation of heightened crash test norms will force all the automakers to introduce airbags and ABS as standard features across all their models by 2017. It’s to be noted that ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) has already readied a crash test facility at Chakan near Pune for this purpose.