Maruti Suzuki India Chairman RC Bhargava told PTI that this move can hurt industry jobs.
Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, asked the government to reconsider the mandatory six airbags rule because it will hurt the small car market.The government has mandated that all passenger vehicles have at least six airbags. Some carmakers, like Toyota, already offer six airbags, but this will hurt entry-level sales.The carmaker must re-engineer a small car like the Maruti Suzuki Alto to fit six airbags. Add more sensors. This will cost cars Rs 20,000 more.
Customers will see the extra Rs 20,000 as a value-add for cars costing Rs 10 lakh or more. Customers upgrading from motorcycles to entry-level cars will pay a premium.Small car prices will rise, making them unaffordable for many buyers. Carmakers could discontinue models like the Alto, but it would hurt sales.
The government’s plan to make one airbag mandatory in 2019, then two in 2021, and the jump from BS-IV to BS-VI have made cars expensive, and the three-year insurance rule has hurt car sales. The Covid pandemic and chip shortage halted car sales in 2020.With higher speed limits, road and passenger safety should be considered. We must also decide if sales or safer roads are more important.
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