Failed Crash tests: Bad News again for Indian car makers
About a decade ago owning a car was doubtlessly beyond the dreamscapes of the Indian middle class. Thanks to the robust economic growth and the EMI schemes coupled with availability of car loans for capable customers boosted the Indian Auto industry. The growing domestic demand for the small cars which go by its popular tag-budget cars began to gain attention of the car manufactures. The so called budget cars swarmed the Indian market and lured most of the middle class Indians. With budget cars the manufactures attempted to bring down the cost that couldn’t come with a compromise on the build quality of the cars.
Tata motors, one of the major car manufactures, rolled out ‘Tata Nano’ with the tag line ‘The people’s car’ by 2008 she became the dream girl of Indians overnight. It still enjoys the status- ‘the cheapest car in the world’. Indians who wish to buy a car that is light for their wallet do care for the safety standards. But how far are they informed about the budget cars that they proudly drive every day?
Year 2013 was an unhappy year for the Indian auto industry on the whole, with each company witnessing sharp decline in the sales, owing to the sluggish economic growth. The ever growing fuel prices should have been one of the crucial factors that disturb the middle class buyers.
Crash tests are common across the world to ensure the safety standards for the commuting passengers in the cars. The recent announcement of the crash tests done by Global NCAP (Global New Car Assessment Programme), an UK company limited (http://www.globalncap.org/), has put a check on most of the popular Indian small car brands, announcing their sub-standard build quality that doesn’t warrant passenger safety. Maruthi Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Tata nano, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo have all failed to pass the tests.
Various reports from auto industry, on car sales, account for 20% of the total car sales is from these five variants combined. The report claims that among the cars tested, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo had stable build structures that survived the crash. Hence these cars with air bags fitted might certainly improve the safety of the driver and the front seat passenger, it added. Others mentioned alongside with these cars collapsed at varying degrees proving inadequate for commuter’s safety. The lower price tag always comes with a compromise but with these cars it seems more pronounced. There are a slew of safety measures in bigger cars where the sophistication and safety come at ease for hefty prices. With the already dwindling car sales in India this report certainly would shake the buyer’s sentiments.