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Old 10th September 2019, 17:09   #16
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

What is the point in getting outraged? He has given his view. Take his view and move on.

I find some of his points logical - some not.

In some cases safety has to be enforced - e.g. Helmets. Not just in 2W but also in factories etc.

But the point that some features add costs is indisputable. It is also indisputable that some regulations have come from a nanny state perspective. There is no logic in making 3/5 years of 3rd party insurance mandatory. Similarly, there should be option for 5 year registration apart from "lifetime"or 15 years.

Auto sector particularly has suffered from lobbying by various interest groups in the recent past. But then, SIAM itself has always been a strong group itself.
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Old 10th September 2019, 17:18   #17
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

Take away for me from the statements given by the Chairman of Maruti - Lives lost due to poor build quality of cars is the cost of doing business.
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Old 10th September 2019, 17:44   #18
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
What's so wrong with stating the obvious? A 4 wheeler without airbags and ABS is anyday safer than a motorcycle for a small, urban family.
Idea of two-wheeler owner upgrading to four-wheeler for better safety even if the four-wheeler in consideration is very basic is good, but what's wrong with his statement(quoted below) is he is cleverly using this to justify(or sidetrack the topic of) the high prices of the cars which don't deserve to be priced so high.

People at the helm of Maruti are very clever, consistently owning ~50% of the market is not an easy thing but Maruti manages to do it despite the average products and service. They are always very good at vindicating themselves. Maruti story in India makes a perfect business case study.

Quote:
As vehicles get expensive, the inability of the two-wheeler rider to upgrade to four wheels also exposes him to greater risks on the road. “… which is riskier? A small car without airbag and ABS, or a scooter. Obviously, the scooter.”
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Old 10th September 2019, 18:12   #19
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

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Originally Posted by wheelguy View Post
... the high prices of the cars which don't deserve to be priced so high.
This gets touted very often. Does anyone have the data?
I checked pricing for Duster when I bought my car. I realized most of the difference was due to duties and taxes in India.

Maybe some difference due to dealer margins etc., but I find no evidence that we are being fleeced.
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Old 10th September 2019, 18:20   #20
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

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Originally Posted by vinair View Post
This is what the top guy at Maruti thinks about regulations around safety!

This below comment takes the cake!!

As vehicles get expensive, the inability of the two-wheeler rider to upgrade to four wheels also exposes him to greater risks on the road. “… which is riskier? A small car without airbag and ABS, or a scooter. Obviously, the scooter.”
This isn't the first time Mr. Bhargava has taken this position. Five years ago, he'd said much the same thing. Read this thread (Safety last? Maruti Chairman Mr. R.C. Bhargava's ridiculous statements).
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Old 10th September 2019, 18:39   #21
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

See we are barking up the wrong tree. Each company has it philosophy cant really change it. Esp. if it has been working for it.

One of the most important aspects of taxation is to guide investment and development in a certain direction. If the government taxes cars based on emission and safety we will see better build cars. Our policies are all messed up.
What education has the government done for public safety. Any company will stick to a business model that works. It's the government primary responsibility for public safety
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Old 10th September 2019, 18:50   #22
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

I'm not going to pass judgment on whether this gentleman's views are right/wrong/regressive/selfish and so on and so forth. The part where he's tried to explain why automobiles are becoming expensive, made some sense. Earlier, when safety related regulations were non existent, OEMs to keep costs down did not provide them. People prefered air conditioners and music systems in cars and that's what was provided. Now that the regulations are mandatory, additional costs have inevitably crept in. I don't know how much it costs to add safety related tech to a car and if OEMs also opportunistically added their margins to these additional costs (which they may have done, they're doing business after all).

Point is, it is for end-users to decide if they can sacrifice comfort for safety. If yes, maybe OEMs should make entry level cars absolutely safe and not provide as many additional bells and whistles. If not, well cars with all goodies AND safety features are going to cost as much as they do now and a lot of people will not be able to afford them - so be it. The new normal then becomes - OEMs accept lower sales (and stop whining about it) and end-users save more money and wait longer to buy their first cars.

Why spew so much venom on a guy who has tried to merely provide a reason behind why cars have become more expensive to manufacture?
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Old 10th September 2019, 19:07   #23
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

Well, not much to argue on some of his statements, except that 2-wheelers are equally exorbitantly priced.

Imagine a 150cc retailing for 1.2L OTR, the price of which about 4 years back was ~85-90k.

As many concluded, most automotive manufacturers will either dish out sub-standard products keeping prices in check or retain quality and price them at lunar levels. Neither of which helps the consumers. Need some root cause analysis that lead to the situation (I think the insurance companies are the sole ones to benefit from all this).
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Old 10th September 2019, 20:14   #24
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

I remember when we were upgrading from a Maruti 800 to a Swift VDi (2009). That version did not have Airbags despite being the top end version. The interior space on offer, a more powerful engine and a comparatively better build quality was good enough for us that time. But if I am to purchase a new car right now, it should have atleast 2 Airbags, ABS, etc. The outlook of the buyer towards safety has changed due to greater awareness as compared to a decade back.
But I also agree with Mr. Bhargava regarding a basic car without safety features being safer than a 2-wheeler. The persons on the 2-wheeler are at the mercy of elements, bad road conditions, other vehicles on the road, etc. The 2-wheeler rider is going to suffer an injury/accident whether it is their mistake or not. So a car is definitely more safe in that context. Finally it is upto the buyer to decide what suits their requirements. And Maruti having almost 50 % market share does know that (even if it is correct or not).
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Old 10th September 2019, 21:34   #25
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

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Originally Posted by adi.mariner View Post
IAnd Maruti having almost 50 % market share does know that (even if it is correct or not).
I think we should give the buyer the benefit of doubt - he/she is competent enough to choose the right car for his / her needs.
We need to raise an issue if safety features are not present in any variant - but basic variants need not have all features.
E.g. Seat belts certainly help (and probably do not cost much), air bags are more expensive and there are still doubts about the extent of benefit it provides (I am not questioning whether it provides benefits, surely it does) and as for ABS, I would prefer a well maintained car with a cautious driver with non-ABS brakes over a poorly maintained car driven by a reckless driver any day.

In fact, driver education probably has the most benefit as far as accident prevention is concerned.

However, I feel that we sometimes are too eager to find fault with others without looking at ourselves. I always hold that if a car overtakes you from the wrong side, you have 50% of the blame as you were not keeping left as you are supposed to do. But instructors (e.g. my instructor in Pune, who was otherwise excellent) actually teach you to keep right to avoid autos and 2 wheelers.
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Old 11th September 2019, 08:09   #26
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

As a veteran & distinguished member of the auto industry, Bhargava should have come forward & applauded the government's efforts in introducing stringent safety & emission norms. On the other hand, this .

But then, what else can you expect from a company that wasn't even ready for "BS1" emission norms in the late 90s? Maruti had to pull its cars from Delhi showrooms for non compliance then and was literally forced to make the switch-over from outdated carburetors to MPFI. Bhargava obviously thought similarly then. Clearly a man whose line of thinking is outdated.

As much as I respect Maruti, I will also state they will be the first to whine about the 25 rupees extra it'll cost to implement 80 & 120 kmph speed alerts in cars.

Last edited by GTO : 11th September 2019 at 08:12.
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Old 11th September 2019, 08:46   #27
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

As much as I am, not a fan of Maruti, I can't help but think that RC Bhargava has a point, even with the safety comment he made 2-3 years ago.

Every single detail in an automobile, comes at a price, be it the Android Auto unit, DRL's, alloy wheels etc which form the aesthetic reasons why people gravitate towards a car and the company cannot cut short those things because their sales will be in danger. With safety - having 2 airbags and ABS as compulsory in every class of vehicle, the company cannot cut corners there either and the cost goes up by at least 30-40k for the both combined. They then aim at where the cost cutting can actually be done - in the body shell, cheaper plastics, quality of fabrics, cheaper tyres, cheaper batteries etc, leading to one very confused experience by longtime car owners who can see the contrast where on the one hand you have the latest gadgetry but the car absolutely fails when it comes to noise damping, road noise, ride quality etc.

While a difference in a lakh or two will certainly not impact us to a large extent, its important to understand that most town/village car buyers have a certain budget, specially when it comes to the first car, gone are the days when the Maruti 800 and Omni could be had cheap, those 2 cars aren't sold anymore. The latest engines are more expensive to manufacture - BS6 engines should have mandatory OBD system which means more software, more cost and diesels should have particulate filters and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) in them which mean more costs. On top of that there is a strain on India's largest car manufacturer to not only cater to present demand but also do so in such a way that BS4 stock is completely exhausted by 1st quarter 2020 (the largest reason I think they are not manufacturing models as much as they usually do as generally 25-33% dispatched vehicles sit on dealer stockyards awaiting sale and are rotated on a basis of predictable demand).

Of course Maruti is no saint when it comes to pricing either, the Ignis has a price range from 4 lakhs to 8+ lakhs, on-road. A 100% difference from the lowest variant to the highest with AMT. The reasons are that the types of engines, transmission and variant give so much scope for input costs going up and resultantly, the profitability as well.

The car industry is done, one must either pay the premium which will become much more of a premium from next year, which I feel is perfectly acceptable since cars never were for 100% of the earth, if that were the case we'd all be choking, both on the road and in our lungs by now. Also, if safety is the need of the day, the solution is simple - PAY MORE and buy a car which to you, is safe.
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Old 11th September 2019, 09:30   #28
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

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Originally Posted by chinkara View Post
E.g. Seat belts certainly help (and probably do not cost much), air bags are more expensive and there are still doubts about the extent of benefit it provides (I am not questioning whether it provides benefits, surely it does) and as for ABS, I would prefer a well maintained car with a cautious driver with non-ABS brakes over a poorly maintained car driven by a reckless driver any day.

In fact, driver education probably has the most benefit as far as accident prevention is concerned.
This comes into picture only if we live in utopia. Will anyone say ‘I need airbags because I am a bad driver’. The funny thing would be when a car (with all safety features, but a bad driver) collides with another car (with just seat belt, cautious driver), the end result would not be as expected as per your logic. Take any worst case scenario, tyre exploding on highways, brake failure etc. will you be preferring a cautious driver or safety features if you are chauffeur driven. In an emergency situation, any driver no matter who, apply brakes suddenly which causes skidding and the result can be catastrophic.

The safety measures does not guarantee anyone ‘you will be safe no matter what’. They are just there to reduce the impacts/injuries in case something goes wrong. Education should enable people to embrace safety measures. Prevention is always better than cure.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:14   #29
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

Many Bhpians here are accusing other Bhpians of being unsympathetic towards families with 2 wheelers.

These accusations may have held their ground if we were in an ideal situation where every rider & co-rider in this country wore a helmet. Do I see this happening? I have seen people ride dangerously in Mumbai with wife and kid in tow, with no helmets. I rarely see any co-rider irrespective of age wearing helmets. So much for worrying about safety.

Its exactly such behavior of ours as citizens, that Mr.Bhargava can get away with making such statements, where he implies that safety features could be a liability for entry level car buyers.

Every Bhpian would any day prefer for their fellow citizens to be safe whether on 2/3/4/ multi axle wheel vehicles. Accusing them of being unsympathetic to the less fortunate is very wrong.

And if 2 wheel owners are being deprived of 4 wheels because of increasing costs, so is any car owner's/ new car owner's aspirations of owning a more safer car from an upper segment, thanks to the increasing costs due to car makers greed.

Cross Posting from another thread

Quote:
That's funny, considering car prices in the EU, USA and Australia are way less compared to ours, and most vehicles come loaded with safety features. Both the Govt and car makers are equally culpable for this slowdown due to their greed. Frankly, as a car maker, especially one who makes tin cans, implying that safety features are for the rich is a very careless statement to make. Rather than blindly making your cars go on a forced diet, try making safety features to be cheaper and accessible.

Special thanks to Volvo for releasing the 3 point seat belt patent, otherwise we would have had Mr.Bhargava hue and cry about another additional expense.

https://www.arnoldclark.com/newsroom...tant-invention

Last edited by TROOPER : 11th September 2019 at 10:34.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:23   #30
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Default Re: Affordability at the cost of safety - RC Bhargava's mantra!

It is a narrow argument that a 2-wheeler owner wont have enough to spend on a safer 4-wheeler.


There is no doubt that safer cars save lives. If we had safer cars to boot, then those upgrading from 2-wheeler could always tap used car market if new cars are expensive for them. If new cars were safe when released, then used cars would be too. Oh, also if the government cared enough for safety of its populace, it could subsidize upgrades from 2 to 4 wheels. But hey, I forgot cars are still considered a luxury here.


To make roads safer tomorrow, we need safer cars today.

Last edited by pratika : 11th September 2019 at 10:27. Reason: added a point
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