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Old 9th October 2019, 04:42   #1
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Default Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Was wondering what might give..

@Mods, kindly delete the post if found not relevant or duplicate. Could not find any related post.

Source: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one air ..

Read more at:
http://m.timesofindia.com/articlesho...campaign=cppst



Why am I not surprised. The car manufacturers were not going to go down without a fight anyways.
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Old 9th October 2019, 06:38   #2
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

End of the day it is customers that drive the success of the product.

If all customers insist/buy the 2+ airbags, down the line manufacturers will drop the non air variants.

But as of now people are worried about the price and safety is coming secondary ( for some its not even on there minds). For many, they think that the structure of the vehicle should protect them and SRS like airbags are maybe thought as add ons.

This mindset should change.
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Old 9th October 2019, 08:39   #3
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

This is a major step back. Other steps could have been taken to revive the industry rather than compromise on safety.
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Old 9th October 2019, 08:58   #4
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Just for a moment let us view this from a wider perspective and not get preachy about safety. Safety is relative. And let's be honest safety is a relatively new and still evolving concept in India. Seat belts in Delhi & Mumbai came only in c.1999 or so and in other cities even later. Airbags in cars made in India only came in mid-1996 with the Opel Astra, Daewoo Cielo etc. The Govt would like to continue to encourage small cheap cars as that is a huge leg up for safety for the family of four on a two wheeler. And that car has to be made as affordable as possible. A cheap car is safer than a two-wheeler; a cheap car with one airbag is safer than one with none; a cheap car with two airbags is better than one with just one and so on. In our vast population you could make a small car with all the safety features and end up denying a large segment the ability to buy a new car altogether. So from our pedestal of the relatively well-to-do this one airbag may seem retrograde but when viewed from the bottom of the economic ocean it is making cheap cars affordable with at least some safety.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 9th October 2019 at 09:24.
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Old 9th October 2019, 09:03   #5
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Just a clarification, the notification to install 2 airbags is not being rolled back. It was always 1 airbag mandatory and a grand total of 3 model variants across the entire market have taken advantage of this loophole.

This is what is mentioned below the sensational headline. The government is in the process of fixing it.

For ease of access, I am listing the 3 winners of this category here. All of them are the base models of the following cars:
1. Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
2. Datsun RediGo
3. Renault Kwid
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Old 9th October 2019, 09:08   #6
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Why is everyone trying to "Boost" the auto industry? What is the industry doing to boot itself? Apart from laying off massive number of workforce and shutting down production, there is nothing the auto industry is doing. The Dealers are may not be profitable, but I can guarantee that they are not clocking losses. A Dealer breaks even with service centers only (including cost of sales and showroom).

The Government has been blackmailed by the industry with number of job losses. I think only Rajiv Bajaj's statement made sense that, after so many years of growth, can the industry not sustain a few difficult years? How is the Steel industry surviving, how is the Cement industry surviving?
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:14   #7
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Newly introduced Maruti S-Presso has passenger airbag optional on all variants except VXi+. To conform with regulations, this model has driver airbag standard.

So its definitely cost costing. Not sure how much benefit is passed onto the consumer.
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:25   #8
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

If there is a good number of customers who are willing to buy cars that have lesser safety features in order to save some money then the industry will provide the option. On the other hand if that number falls below a viable percentage manufacturers will phase out these variants.

Manufacturers appear price sensitive while adding airbags and other safety features but keep pushing the price upwards by introducing other features. This again is because the customer demands creature comforts more than safety features. Most buyers enquire about sunroofs, connected cars, touch screen sizes, alloy wheel design and dual tones etc. Sure these are all nice to have and makes the experience wonderful but shouldn't safety be on the top of the list? When we as customers begin asking for airbags, vehicle stability and other safety features the manufacturers will take notice. Until then, lets just look forward to smartphones on wheels.
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:32   #9
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Just for a moment let us view this from a wider perspective and not get preachy about safety. Safety is relative. And let's be honest safety is a relatively new and still evolving concept in India. Seat belts in Delhi & Mumbai came only in c.1999 or so and in other cities even later. Airbags in cars made in India only came in mid-1996 with the Opel Astra, Daewoo Cielo etc. The Govt would like to continue to encourage small cheap cars as that is a huge leg up for safety for the family of four on a two wheeler. And that car has to be made as affordable as possible. A cheap car is safer than a two-wheeler; a cheap car with one airbag is safer than one with none; a cheap car with two airbags is better than one with just one and so on. In our vast population you could make a small car with all the safety features and end up denying a large segment the ability to buy a new car altogether. So from our pedestal of the relatively well-to-do this one airbag may seem retrograde but when viewed from the bottom of the economic ocean it is making cheap cars affordable with at least some safety.
So, to demand 2 airbags is preachy but to demand a 4 wheeler is not ?

Let me explain with the example. A decent 2 wheeler in Thane can be had for Rs 70000. A maruti alto (STD) with one airbag can be had for Rs 361000. A maruti alto (STD O) with two airbags can be had for 365000. To upgrade from a two wheeler to a 4 wheeler we are asking people to pay Rs 291000 extra and that is OK. But, if we ask people to pay Rs 4000 extra for an additional airbag, we are being preachy? I don't get the logic here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm
Why is everyone trying to "Boost" the auto industry? What is the industry doing to boot itself? Apart from laying off massive number of workforce and shutting down production, there is nothing the auto industry is doing. The Dealers are may not be profitable, but I can guarantee that they are not clocking losses. A Dealer breaks even with service centers only (including cost of sales and showroom).

The Government has been blackmailed by the industry with number of job losses. I think only Rajiv Bajaj's statement made sense that, after so many years of growth, can the industry not sustain a few difficult years? How is the Steel industry surviving, how is the Cement industry surviving?
Exactly. It is strange that everybody seems to be worried about auto industry except auto industry themselves. Forget steel and cement industry, I have seen two neighbourhood barber shops close down in last three years. Why not bail them out?
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:39   #10
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Why do we need only regulations to ensure our own safety? There are options available in most cars today to add basic safety kit. And gradually, albeit a bit slowly, people are opting for these variants. But the mindset change is going to take time. I see people still riding without a helmet even after the massive price hike in traffic violation fines. Now what else does the government needs to do to make sure that you wear something as basic as a helmet?

Cheap and features in a car including airbags don't go hand in hand. There is a reason why cars are costlier in western countries. The Entry level segments start at around 10L at the minimum in most western countries whereas we can get a car for 3L in India.
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Old 9th October 2019, 12:50   #11
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Just for a moment let us view this from a wider perspective and not get preachy about safety. Safety is relative. And let's be honest safety is a relatively new and still evolving concept in India. Seat belts in Delhi & Mumbai came only in c.1999 or so and in other cities even later. Airbags in cars made in India only came in mid-1996 with the Opel Astra, Daewoo Cielo etc. The Govt would like to continue to encourage small cheap cars as that is a huge leg up for safety for the family of four on a two wheeler. And that car has to be made as affordable as possible. A cheap car is safer than a two-wheeler; a cheap car with one airbag is safer than one with none; a cheap car with two airbags is better than one with just one and so on. In our vast population you could make a small car with all the safety features and end up denying a large segment the ability to buy a new car altogether. So from our pedestal of the relatively well-to-do this one airbag may seem retrograde but when viewed from the bottom of the economic ocean it is making cheap cars affordable with at least some safety.
Agree with you to some extent. But Safety is also a mindset, a culture that is yet to be ingrained in our society . Because Safety has a quality to it, quality of thought, design and application, followed by conscious rigor of adoption and related enforcement. There are several thousands of 2 wheeler riders in Pune for example, who afford bikes exceeding 1 lakh in cost. But how many pay an extra 500 bucks and use helmets? So while a unsafe car is safer relative to a bike, in absolute terms it’s still unsafe. It’s like saying, a pucca house built with dubious quality material and engineering plan is safer than a kachha house. And Safety culture demands abolition of such unsafe designs and practices.

Last edited by fhdowntheline : 9th October 2019 at 12:52. Reason: double sentence
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Old 9th October 2019, 13:16   #12
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

This is no way to increase sales. The government and the auto industry seem to be living under a rock. When sales are down for structural reasons, such trimming is not going to count for anything. A car is an expensive purchase and many will finance it using loans. It is the sentiment which is down and people are hesitant to avail loans. This is the same reason due to which the real estate industry is saddled with huge unsold inventories.
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Old 9th October 2019, 13:21   #13
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

I think this is a pretty discouraging; wonder if a certain manufacturer lobby has gotten its way in ensuring they drive the narrative on what a car buyer wants, and doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Just for a moment let us view this from a wider perspective and not get preachy about safety.
Sorry, but this would be a rare instance I disagree with you. The average Indian does not view safety as a priority. This is widely evident from when a man loads his entire family on a Splendor with puny tires, or when they prefer a manufacturer for reputation for favoring fuel efficiency over safety and safety features on their cars, or for not prioritizing maintenance of their vehicle.

I agree with your argument that for a family from a lower income bracket, affording a car is more important than affording a car with safety features.

But isn't lowering the MVP (minimum viable product) what got us in this mess in the first place. Mess = "kitna deti hai" is paramount. Strict regulation for the industry and buyer's attitude to collectively rise.

Didn't we all applaud the Govt.'s decision to make a/c cabins compulsory in new CVs (albeit that too was watered down).

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Why do we need only regulations to ensure our own safety?
Because safety (features) come at a cost. And majority Indians would rather pay less and not get safety features than pay more for them. Eg. majority Indians would rather prefer a sun-roof over airbags.
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Old 9th October 2019, 14:46   #14
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Because safety (features) come at a cost. And majority Indians would rather pay less and not get safety features than pay more for them. Eg. majority Indians would rather prefer a sun-roof over airbags.
Not to mention the mentality and the reality of common man. Die in a road accident/mishap and family gets compensated....by the same Govt using MY Tax money.
Not at all saying EVERY Common Man does it, but you get the gist.

As they say, "You can only lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".

Let's all agree on one point though. If consumers start moving towards 2/2+ Airbags in majority, it would make the Automakers also change their stance.
And as an educated and knowledgeable lot, the least we can do is educate people.

Cheers
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Old 9th October 2019, 19:36   #15
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Default Re: Centre lets automakers drive in cheap cars with only one airbag

Quote:
Originally Posted by antz.bin View Post
For ease of access, I am listing the 3 winners of this category here. All of them are the base models of the following cars:
1. Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
2. Datsun RediGo
3. Renault Kwid
Add the Maruti Suzuki Eeco to the list. Its got only one airbag. A passenger airbag isn't even an option.

The Alto 800 has dual airbags as optional even on base variant (with the recently introduced facelift).

It's surprisingly the more expensive Alto K10 which doesn't have an option for passenger airbag even as an option on the most expensive variant.
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