Maruti Suzuki is the largest automaker in India and sells 14 PVs through Arena and Nexa dealerships
Ever wondered what crash tests are? What does NCAP mean? NCAP stands for New Car Assessment Program and is done by various entities in the world. We have Euro NCAP, ASEAN NCAP, Global NCAP, Australian NCAP, Japan NCAP, Latin NCAP, Korean NCAP, China NCAP, IIHS for USA and more.
All these agencies and upcoming Bharat NCAP simulate real-time crash conditions in a controlled environment where high-tech dummies with a plethora of sensors are used to assess various parameters. The crashworthiness of a car and protection of occupants are measured. After analyzing all the raw data, they are homologated into star ratings with 5 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.
NCAP Should Not Be Compulsory – Maruti Suzuki Chairman
Speaking at the Business Today MindRush, Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava was asked his view on India making Bharat NCAP mandatory for all cars. Earlier in the day, Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of road transport and highways, approved Bharat NCAP.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman said that NCAP should not be mandatory. According to him, India is a completely different market than Europe where crash test ratings are a benchmark. He also added that NCAP benchmarking system only benefits “rich people” and will not provide better transport for two-wheeler buyers.
With mandating 6 airbags, Maruti’s concerns were justified. Because it’ll make the product more expensive to the end buyer. Because SRS airbags are Secondary Restraint Systems and primary restraint systems like seatbelts save more lives than airbags. Full interview of Mr Bhargava can be seen below, starting from about 1 hour and 17 minute mark. The discussion on Bharat NCAP and car safety norms starts from 1 hour 32 minute mark.
How Will Bharat NCAP Help?
This is a commendable move by the Indian Government in trying to encourage car manufacturers in making cars that are safer for Indians. It will result in overall upliftment of automotive industry in terms of safety and quality. Add to it the recently mandated 6 airbags in every car, it will provide a lot of value to Indian car buyers.
The government has not mandated every single car to pass the crash tests with a certain baseline crash rating. A car can miserably fail in the crash test with 0-Star rating and still sell in good numbers. Indian Government just wants Indian car buyers to know what they’re getting into. Giving people crucial information like crash ratings regarding their big investments like a car, is necessary.
Indian Cars Safety Rating June 2022 – Global NCAP
Ranked as per adult safety rating pic.twitter.com/hTNEUF4E4s
— RushLane (@rushlane) June 24, 2022
Coming to providing budget cars for motorcycle buyers, car manufacturers can continue to make budget cars with low or 0 safety rating, even after crash testing every model is mandated through Bharat NCAP. Indian car buyers know that a car (irrespective of manufacturer) with 0-Star crash rating is still safer than a motorcycle. Low crash ratings on budget cars is not an issue at all because it is expected. But low crash ratings on cars that cost over Rs. 10 lakhs, might not be acceptable to buyers.