Maruti wants govt to reconsider proposal; says mandatory six airbags to hit small car market adversely
Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) wants the government to reconsider its proposal to make six airbags mandatory in passenger vehicles.
Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) wants the government to reconsider its proposal to make six airbags mandatory in passenger vehicles. It says that the norm will adversely hit the already shrinking small car market and may even have an impact on jobs in the auto sector going ahead. According to the MSI, this regulation would largely impact the cost-sensitive entry-level car segment — which has been facing headwinds and witnessing dwindling sales over the last three years — making it even more difficult for two-wheeler users to upgrade to small cars.
Earlier this year, the road transport ministry said that it will make it compulsory for carmakers to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles that can carry up to 8 passengers for enhanced safety of occupants from October this year.
MSI Chairman RC Bhargava said, “With prices going up, the sales of small cars have been impacted especially in the non-metro markets across the country,”
“So, the fear is that due to this (six airbags) the market will become smaller. The car manufacturing sector is important because it is a big creator of employment. When the car sells in the market it creates many jobs — drivers, maintenance, repairs, accessories etc,” Bhargava stated.
He further said: “If the car market does not grow like what has been happening in the last three years it will have an adverse effect on job creation and economic growth”.
“I think, we will be among the first countries to do that…so we in the industry think that it is not the right time to bring six airbag regulations. We would like the government to reconsider this matter,” Bhargava said.
According to the government, the airbags will ensure the safety of passengers across all segments, irrespective of the cost/variant of the vehicle.