With the launch of India’s Bharat NCAP safety ratings by the government, all attention shifts to Maruti Suzuki, the country’s biggest car manufacturer. The company plans to have at least three models participate in the initial batch of tests. According to various reports, Maruti Suzuki will submit the Baleno, Brezza, and Grand Vitara for the newly introduced Bharat NCAP assessments. Maruti Suzuki applauds Bharat NCAP as India’s pioneer crash testing initiative that will raise vehicle safety benchmarks in the nation.
Maruti Suzuki’s Approach to Safety Standards
As per mandatory government safety standards in India, all newly launched cars ensure safety. To cater to customers seeking enhanced safety and manufacturers offering extra features, the Bharat NCAP (BNCAP) system acts as an unbiased rating platform that empowers informed choices. Rahul Bharti, Maruti Suzuki India’s Executive Officer for corporate affairs, stated, “Maruti Suzuki welcomes this government initiative and intends to submit at least three models for BNCAP testing in the initial phase.”
Bharat NCAP: A Game Changer
The launch of Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari aims to improve road safety for vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes. As an objective assessment system, Bharat NCAP assists consumers in making informed purchasing decisions.
Maruti Suzuki’s Safety Performance
Maruti Suzuki dominates India’s car market with over 40 percent market share, frequently occupying the majority of the top 10 best-selling spots. However, safety hasn’t traditionally been a standout feature of their vehicles. While Maruti Suzuki cars are known for affordability and efficiency, the growing emphasis on road safety has led buyers to favor cars with better safety features and ratings.
One factor contributing to this shift is Maruti Suzuki’s lack of participation in safety tests conducted by Global NCAP, a crash test safety agency known for its SaferCarsForIndia campaign. Independent testing of Maruti Suzuki cars like Alto, S-Presso, and Swift showed disappointing results, with only a few exceptions. In contrast, Tata Motors and Mahindra have earned 4 and 5-star ratings from Global NCAP, contributing to their increased market share.
Bharat NCAP’s Impact
Bharat NCAP, set to launch on October 1, 2023, allows car manufacturers to voluntarily subject their vehicles to testing following the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197. Based on test outcomes, cars will receive star ratings on a scale of 0 to 5 for adult occupants (AOP) and child occupants (COP). Nitin Gadkari highlighted the comprehensive approach taken to create the BNCAP mechanism.
Addressing the audience during the Bharat NCAP launch, Nitin Gadkari acknowledged the significance of the program for both the automobile industry and society. He commended the cooperation of the Indian automobile industry in making the Bharat NCAP program a reality.