One of the most important features in a four-wheeler has been shunned by customers of Maruti Suzuki. Even the recent poor results of the Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) tests on some of the Indian cars has not hampered the buying pattern of the Indian customers.
Maruti offers airbags and ABS on 11 of its models either as standard or as optional, only 37 percent opt for the safety features on their cars.
This percentage is spiked because of models like Baleno, Vitara Brezza and S-Cross which some with airbags and ABS with EBD as standard.
The percentage is a concern when customers are not keen on safety in their cars. The responsibility of opting for safety features does not lie only on the manufacturers, it lies with every customer.
Alarmingly, Maruti Alto contributes 16 percentage to the overall sales of Maruti; however, only a meagre 5 percent of the buyers are opting for safety features. By upgrading to the driver side airbags costs Rs. 6,000, though customers are not keen on it.
With the percentage of buyers opting for safety features is quite low, manufacturers can argue on the investment on such features, which will only burden the cost price of the vehicle.
The government should bring stringent norms to curb the idea of price over safety. More than the premium features, customers should prioritise safety as their choice compared to luxury-oriented features.