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Small car buyers not keen on paying extra for airbags

 
Fiat Punto Evo airbags

The significance of airbags is often overlooked.

The last several months witnessed car makers offering airbag as an optional extra even on the entry level variants of several small cars. The objective is to improve a brand’s safety credentials and take the customers on a journey of gradual transformation before the upcoming stringent safety norms force OEMs to go for standard airbags.

Despite the fact that safety of Indian cars has become an increasingly discussed topic, data reveals that customers of budget small cars are still no keen on paying extra for the safety feature.

Maruti Celerio with Airbags ABS

Airbags reduce the chance of fatality significantly.

The airbag-equipped variants of small cars are dearer than the regular variants by INR 6,000 – 20,000. Last year, Maruti introduced optional airbag on both Alto and Wagon R but less than 2% of the buyers opted for it! Coming to Swift and Dzire, the proportion of customers opting for airbags stood at 10-15% last fiscal which is still low.

Considering that airbags, combined with seat belts, have the potential to reduce the chance of fatality by up to 80%, it’s disheartening to know that most customers are reluctant in parting INR 6,000 more for a life saving feature. In the present scenario, the only way to increase vehicular safety is by making airbags mandatory just like seatbelts.

2016 Maruti Alto 800 (1)

Less than 2% of Alto and Wagon R customers chose the optional airbag feature.

Also read – Govt to implement stringent safety standards without making airbag mandatory

Already, car makers like Toyota and VW have made dual airbags standard across their Indian lineups. The trend is catch up quickly.

Via – Business-standard.com

 

About the author

Nithyanandh Karuppaswamy

Winner of national level automotive quiz competitions, Nithyanandh aka Nithz jumped into the blogosphere right after gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Love for automobiles and an even greater drive to share his knowledge with the automotive community, Nithz is Deputy Editor at RushLane.

Email - nithyanandh@rushlane.com