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Old 13th September 2015, 13:19   #1
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Default Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

By 2017, crash test standards are planned to be made mandatory in India. This has created a huge opportunity for airbag-manufacturing companies, who have already started ramping up their existing production lines and are pumping in more investments into their plants, with an eye on a possible $2 billion in profits by 2020.

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Overall revenues from airbag sales are expected to grow at 11 percent a year by 2020, as India is expected to sell over 5 million cars a year by then. After the crash test standards are implemented, cars without airbags will be certified with the lowest safety ratings which will force customers to directly consider the risks involved if they go for a cheaper car.

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In India, a person is killed in a road accident every four minutes - 141,000 in 2014 - yet less than a third of the 2.6 million cars sold each year have air bags in this cost-conscious market.

Some of the world's largest air bag makers - Autoliv Inc, Takata Corp, TRW Automotive Inc and Toyoda Gosei Co - are already gearing up to cash in.

"(This is a) good time to build capacity and the right time to invest to grow the business," said Harish Lakshman, managing director of air bag maker Rane TRW Steering Systems Ltd, a joint venture between U.S.-based TRW and India's Rane Holdings Ltd. The company opened a new air bag assembly plant in August in southern India with capacity to make 500,000 units a year, investing 180 million rupees ($2.7 million). It expects revenues from the air bag unit to hit 3.5 billion rupees by 2020, from 400 million rupees today.

Toyoda Goesi Minda India, a joint venture between the Japanese company and India's Uno Minda, which has a 25 percent market share, plans to increase its capacity by up to six times to 150,000 air bags over the next two to three years, group chairman N.K. Minda told Reuters.

"I think we have made automobiles in India too cheap," said Vijay Chhibber, secretary for the road transport and highways ministry. "In trying to make everything cheap, if we are going to reduce our safety standard it is not worth it."

The new rules, part of the Road Transport and Safety Bill, do not directly propose airbags, but instead make crash tests mandatory for new models sold in India from October 2017.

Air bags in India are expensive mainly because most of the parts, such as inflators, are imported. And without rules imposing their use in a country of poorly maintained vehicles and overcrowded, badly lit and potholed roads, carmakers often opt not to add a costly component that could drive up prices. Several carmakers in India, including No. 2 seller Hyundai Motor Co, still import air bags.

But Kaushik Madhavan, automotive head at Frost & Sullivan, said even cautious carmakers would eventually have to go local. "Carmakers have to realise that if they have to offer competitively priced products with all the safety technology, they have to be sourced locally," he said.
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Old 13th September 2015, 13:32   #2
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This is a welcome move. Most car companies currently include safety features in only the top variants and thereby charge a huge premium for "safety". Going forward, hope safety features in passenger vehicles become table stakes and not premium features. Also, if they are made mandatory, the volumes go up and therefore, costs of airbags will come down. All this is great news for customers.
However, I wonder what happens to all vehicles made before 2017 without airbags. Will they have to be retrofitted?
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Old 13th September 2015, 13:39   #3
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Default re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

Manufacturing airbags completely locally in large volumes is the key to reduce the prices of airbags. Then the OEMs would find it easy to put them even in the base variants of all the cars as standard.
It is a good news for us.
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Old 14th September 2015, 14:55   #4
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Default Re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

Agreed with the others. Local production in mass volume will make airbags a cheap commodity. That's the market being one step closer to making airbags & ABS standard.

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However, I wonder what happens to all vehicles made before 2017 without airbags. Will they have to be retrofitted?
Nope . They can continue as is.
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Old 14th September 2015, 15:23   #5
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Smile Re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

Although this is an encouraging information lot will still depend on the manufacturers who would prefer to cater to the mass segment where price will be major influencing factor. Unless it is made mandatory by the govt, manufacturer will provide the air bags only on the top end or middle variants based on the demand in contrast to a few exceptions where as of now a few manufacturers are offering air bags as standard on all variants of the model. With a steep difference of almost 50K+ between the variants having air bags and those without, it is still up to the customers who will give safety a thought and buy the cars equipped with air bags.

The area of question will be the quality of air bags being provided if they are mass manufactured.
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Old 14th September 2015, 15:29   #6
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Default Re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

Are airbag manufacturers reacting to the demand and flocking to India? Or did they somehow create the demand? I mean, NCAP has trying to create an impact in the Indian scene with random car tests.

Either ways, good for the Indian consumer.
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Old 14th September 2015, 16:32   #7
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Default Re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

Its good if local production can bring down the cost. This will translate to cheaper top trims, and hopefully more people will purchase them. I don't know if its possible, but they could also introduce aftermarket airbag kits suitable for older models. You could go to the local mod shop and get your old car fitted with one, just like people fit an audio system.
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Old 17th September 2015, 10:37   #8
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Default Re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

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Originally Posted by GeneralJazz View Post
You could go to the local mod shop and get your old car fitted with one, just like people fit an audio system.
As somebody else put it here, an airbag operates by controlled explosion a tiny amount of distance from one's face. Unless proper implementation is done by a technically competent party, it's more danger than anything else. These safety level techs are way beyond roadside hackjob unlike say, an audio system. One can always fit it in but to make it work the way it's designed is an altogether different story.
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Old 17th September 2015, 11:13   #9
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Default Re: Airbag manufacturers ramping up production in India!

Installing a new airbag on a vehicle that never had one to begin with, that too from some "roadside hackjob" is as good as fixing a machete onto the steering wheel. What I meant was, is it possible to get one fixed onto a vehicle whose higher trims have one? The international Celerio has 6 airbags but apparently Indian lives dont matter. Can we fix one onto our vehicle if we can somehow source the original kit?
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