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.
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.
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