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Old 14th November 2014, 11:48   #31
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post
All of you self-righteous netizens can throw brick-bats at Maruti and even applaud personal attacks on a person who is just voicing his company's past, present and future policy till the cows come home.
I am a Maruti admirer in general. But am highly disappointed by Mr. R.C. Bharghav's statement. Maruti is best placed in industry to pioneer this change and they are running from their responsibility. There is no doubt that safe cars are the future; how long they need to run away from this fact? Also, what MR. RCB is doing is morally wrong. General people are bound to get misled if such words are coming from someone of his stature and being the chief of country's favorite car seller. In an era (& situation) when we should be promoting road safety, this is all what he has to say?

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Now, if all over the country we had good roads, and high speed driving is the norm, then the required safety features should be as well. But it is NOT so in India.

If your driving needs require you to be in such traffic conditions that warrant such safety features, you must cough up the extra dough. That's life.
...............
Do you feel that road conditions in India even now could be compared to the US in the 70's?

Cheers
I don't know if road conditions are good or bad, but I know for sure that Indian road fatalities are highest in the world; probably next only to China. Don't you think this is a reason enough to mandate something with sense of urgency?

And at the cost of repeating myself, I would say that at least display the crash ratings of each variant of the car while selling so that the buyer at least knows that how safe or unsafe is the car he/she is buying. Offer ABS & airbags as options even with the lowest variant so that people who 'feel' the need can go for them regardless of worrying about shelling at least a lakh of rupee for the topmost variant.

Thanks.

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Old 14th November 2014, 11:59   #32
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

So the same NCAP ratings were used to sell the Swift here and when caught with pants down, then the same NCAP ratings are a farce?

Talking about the welfare of the poor? No wonder, Maruti suzuki was once a Government owned entity!


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Now, if all over the country we had good roads, and high speed driving is the norm, then the required safety features should be as well. But it is NOT so in India.
Now what sort of logic is that? Slow speed driving doesn't need safety features? The speed at which the crash test was taken (~64 kmph i guess) is the average speed of a journey in a normal 2 lane highway!
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:01   #33
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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I don't know if road conditions are good or bad, but I know for sure that Indian road fatalities are highest in the world; probably next only to China. Don't you think this is a reason enough to mandate something with sense of urgency?

Thanks.
If you can show me that majority of these deaths are due to the lack of ABS and/or airbags. Or rather how many of these lives could have been saved if there had been ABS or Airbags, we might have a valid discussion.

But you know and I know that majority of these accidents are due to other factors such as poor driving, overloaded trucks, not enough lighting, etc., etc.

Cheers
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:02   #34
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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I don't think that Ralph Nader's crusade was in the same context. Circumstances related to that case were completely different.
If you take any two major cases, they will never be exactly same. Details will defer, so let's focus on the similarities. In both cases the car maker is not giving priority to safety. It is also a question of awareness. We all know countless cases where safety gear like helmet or seat belts or air bags saved lives. A typical BHPian is much more aware of this. And we often wish that the mango man also learns about the importance of the same. If the government finally imposes this, we should rejoice.

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Do you feel that road conditions in India even now could be compared to the US in the 70's?
No, which is why it is even more important. I do two 400kms highway drives every month over a mix of good and bad roads. I feel lot safer on nice 4 lane highways than the bad roads or 2-lane roads. That is because the vehicles are lot more unpredictable on bad roads or 2-lanes. It is very common to see an oncoming vehicle in your lane, or a car in front stop suddenly stop or swerve to avoid a pothole. Therefore, we have much higher chance of head-on collision than in western roads. I have driven 9 years in US too, can't remember more than 2-3 instances of potential head-on situations in total. In India I comes across 2-3 such instances in every drive. Because of our roads conditions and poor driver training, we have much higher need for safe cars.
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:05   #35
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post
If you can show me that majority of these deaths are due to the lack of ABS and/or airbags. Or rather how many of these lives could have been saved if there had been ABS or Airbags, we might have a valid discussion.

But you know and I know that majority of these accidents are due to other factors such as poor driving, overloaded trucks, not enough lighting, etc., etc.

Cheers
Even if the majority of accidents were factors such as poor driving, overloaded trucks, not enough lighting, etc. ; you would still like to believe that safety kit in those automobiles would have saved a lot of lives, isn't it?
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:06   #36
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post

It's not as though Maruti does not have cars with safety features, but at a cost.
The issue is that actually Bhargava is taking cover under 'Safety in India is different' argument. The price I pay while buying a safe car includes the price of other features of a fully loaded car. I can't buy a bare bone basic car, but with basic safety feature. That's why it is hypocrisy when Bharghava say's safety comes at a cost.

The argument put forth under the conditions are different in India is different is partly correct - India has a long way to go in terms of overall road safety and infrastructure. But safety of cars is also one essential building block the the same safety infrastructure. Bharghava says let others do their bit, after that let me think about doing my bit - am not finding a decent word to describe such a thought
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:27   #37
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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If the government finally imposes this, we should rejoice.
I would rather the Government focus on improving infrastructure.
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I have driven 9 years in US too, can't remember more than 2-3 instances of potential head-on situations in total. In India I comes across 2-3 such instances in every drive. Because of our roads conditions and poor driver training, we have much higher need for safe cars.
You could spin out and hit a pole while stationary at the signal light in the US if some idiot texting and doing 35 mph does not see the signal.
Accidents can happen anywhere. Improving roads and imposing traffic rules are the first step to safety. Airbags and ABS are secondary safety aids.

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Even if the majority of accidents were factors such as poor driving, overloaded trucks, not enough lighting, etc. ; you would still like to believe that safety kit in those automobiles would have saved a lot of lives, isn't it?
Actually, I don't. Without knowing on a case by case basis, I would not make a general statement like that.

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
The issue is that actually Bhargava is taking cover under 'Safety in India is different' argument. The price I pay while buying a safe car includes the price of other features of a fully loaded car.
There are a lot of places in India where ABS and Airbags are NOT essential for daily use, and people can afford only the basic minimum. They put them through uses where chances of activating airbags and damaging ABS are very high.

Are we to say that those that cannot afford them should not drive at all? Or is it that we want rock bottom prices with world class features because we are entitled to it?

Why not turn all this angst towards road safety towards the real culprits?

How many will take the effort to write to the Govt. for better roads? How many with friends in transportation industry will tell them not to overload trucks and make sure their lights work? How many actually wear their helmet ALL the time?

Guess throwing brickbats at Mr. Bhargava on forums is more effective.

Cheers
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:32   #38
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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Actually, I don't. Without knowing on a case by case basis, I would not make a general statement like that.
That is funny. If you think that safety kit would not save any significant number of lives, then there is no point indulging into any sort of discussion regarding safety of cars.
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:38   #39
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

I belong to a small city/town.

People in small towns/villages have high dependency on nearby bigger towns/cities. They need to travel to different place for many basic things e.g. recreation, healthcare, purchase etc. for which you don't even need to go to different locality if you are living in a big city.
On an average their vehicles travel more on highways compare to their city counterparts, "highway" here might be anything from a two lane state highways to six lane expressway.

Therefore, need for safety features is actually more for vehicles in these areas.
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:53   #40
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

A statement which reflects the lack of empathy and vision by a manufacturer , in a market which is evolving beyond straight out price decisions. Absolutely a miss in my opinion , i simply do not buy it. a consumer would fall back to a 50,000- 70,000 INR product if the price of a car goes up from 250,000 to 265,000 ? Really.!
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:58   #41
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post
If you can show me that majority of these deaths are due to the lack of ABS and/or airbags. Or rather how many of these lives could have been saved if there had been ABS or Airbags, we might have a valid discussion.
And you say this despite knowing how bad accident investigation is carried out in India? Even if our investigation was as good as the west, it is still no match for the tests carried out in controlled environment by testing agencies like NCAP which can exactly tell you how a car would fare in the event of a collision.
From the tests the least I can conclude is that I am much better off crashing in a Polo than in a Swift even though outside India, they both fare as good if not better than one another, which also lead to conclude for Maruti an Indian life is cheaper than a European's life. And it is not as if Swift is cheaper than the competing Polo, which all things considered feels like it is in a different class, so your argument that "It's not as though Maruti does not have cars with safety features, but at a cost" does not stand because even if I am ready to pay for the top end variant, they still give me a substandard car compared to what they sell in Europe.

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But you know and I know that majority of these accidents are due to other factors such as poor driving, overloaded trucks, not enough lighting, etc., etc.
Cheers
By your logic the west do not need any safer cars since none of what you just mentioned happens on their roads. On the flipside I feel that cars in India should be safer than their western counterparts given our road conditions. If we can send a spacecraft to mars, I am pretty sure the largest automobile manufacturer in India can figure out a way to make air bags and abs for cheap given the sheer volume of cars that they sell and lead the way.
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Old 14th November 2014, 13:25   #42
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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That is funny. If you think that safety kit would not save any significant number of lives, then there is no point indulging into any sort of discussion regarding safety of cars.
Actually, yeah, it is quite funny. Care to tell me how many deaths were due to airbag activation without seatbelt usage? Or improper panic braking due to unfamiliarity with ABS? You're right. No point at all. Airbags and ABS saves lives. Period. End of discussion.

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. And it is not as if Swift is cheaper than the competing Polo, which all things considered feels like it is in a different class, so your argument that "It's not as though Maruti does not have cars with safety features, but at a cost" does not stand because even if I am ready to pay for the top end variant, they still give me a substandard car compared to what they sell in Europe.
Is the cheapest variant of Polo comparable to the cheapest variant of Swift for cost?

Are you paying the same as a consumer in Europe?

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By your logic the west do not need any safer cars since none of what you just mentioned happens on their roads. On the flipside I feel that cars in India should be safer than their western counterparts given our road conditions.
Actually, that's not my logic at all.

Cheers
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Old 14th November 2014, 13:26   #43
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

Similar arguments have been made in aircraft manufacturing too. Modern passenger airlines are definitely safer than before, but at a huge cost to the development of global economy.

The argument goes that - if manufacturers like Boeing & Airbus are not constrained by a milion safety requirements (Eg: Aircrafts should be designed such that all passengers can alight from an aircraft in 90 seconds in an emergency), the cost of new aircraft wouldn't be as high ($100 to $400 million). Without this excessive importance to safety, the cost of new/old aircrafts would fall. Airlines would make money and passengers tickets will be priced a lot lower than what it is right now.

Name:  800pxUsaf.Boeing_B52.jpg
Views: 1173
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US Airforce's B-52 Stratofortress was designed and built in 1950s, but is still going strong with a pretty decent accident record. It is expected to fly till 2040s.

Food for thought huh?

Last edited by smartcat : 14th November 2014 at 13:28.
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Old 14th November 2014, 13:33   #44
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

One thing is for sure that when the equipments are designed to perform in dangerous situations then there is always an added emphasis on safety.

So

1. If Indian road conditions are dangerous then there is a higher need for safer cars just like added ground clearance for tackling the pot holes , it is as simple as that.

2. Even if a only a small percentage(in comparative and not absolute terms) of population drives cars , it does not mean that their lives are not precious. You cant skip on radiation shield around a nuclear reactor thinking that only few people work in the power plant.

3. If they say that they offer ABS and Airbags on higher variants for people who can afford it then whats the premise for their structures being so unstable that addition of airbags doesn't make much difference?

4.Won't the economies of scale make these safety equipments cheaper because if in present state the suite costs Rs 40,000 with their sale increasing 4 to 5 fold won't the price come down to say 25,000?

5. People who can't afford new cars can always go in for used cars. So as these old cars with antiquated safety are phased out then all the cars even in the used car markets would have abs and airbags along with NCAP ratings as standard.
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Old 14th November 2014, 13:39   #45
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Default re: Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements

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Actually, yeah, it is quite funny. Care to tell me how many deaths were due to airbag activation without seatbelt usage? Or improper panic braking due to unfamiliarity with ABS? You're right. No point at all. Airbags and ABS saves lives. Period. End of discussion.
First people drive/ sit in a car without seatbelts. And then the driver bangs the car head on and airbags deploy to save the occupants. Now some one gets killed due to airbags deployment because he was not belted and then we have you blaming the SRS for killing the guy? It is like blaming a the car while someone opens the door and jumps out of it while running. Hilarious. Indeed it is funny.
Assume that you know that even airbags do not deploy in many cars if seatbelts are not locked.

And there is no need of being familiar with ABS. It simply does the job. If you have presence of mind, you can steer around in tandem. That is the job of a good driver.

And let me assure you that there will not be ANY significant increase in the price of cars wrt their prices if abs & airbags will be made standard. If MSIL is stating 40K for Alto at present, you will not see more than 20-25K increase in the price list.

And instead of asking me about the data why don't you go figure and post that how many lives would have been lost anyway regardless of ABS+airbags in kind of accidents you posted above. In the absence of such data, I would choose to believe the NCAPs. Of course you are free to take your call.
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