The Indian automotive industry is set to witness a major boost in car safety as the government introduces the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP). This initiative, which has been in the works for a while now, aims to establish crash test safety norms for vehicles sold in India, ensuring the production of safer cars. Auto majors such as Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Toyota have wholeheartedly embraced the introduction of Bharat NCAP, recognizing it as a bold step in the right direction.
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According to Velusamy R, President of Automotive Technology and Product Development at Mahindra & Mahindra, the implementation of Bharat NCAP is a much-needed step by the Ministry of Road Transport. He stated, “We at Mahindra believe it is one of the most important steps by the Ministry of Road Transport, and we welcome the implementation of Bharat NCAP.” Velusamy R emphasized that this initiative would generate equal opportunities, fostering healthy competition among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and bring about a positive change in the automotive industry.
Similarly, Rahul Bharti, Executive Officer (Corporate Affairs) at Maruti Suzuki India, expressed support for Bharat NCAP, affirming that providing authentic information to customers and empowering them is a positive step. He said, “In principle, customer information and empowering the customer through authentic information is always a positive and welcome step, so Maruti Suzuki will support it.”
Toyota Kirloskar Motor also lauded Bharat NCAP, with a spokesperson stating, “We believe that Bharat NCAP is a step in the right direction. While the industry has been proactively pushing for new benchmark safety standards, there is also a growing demand for better safety features among customers, which is putting further impetus on advancements and the introduction of newer norms in the country.” The spokesperson further highlighted the industry’s proactive efforts to establish new safety standards.
Additionally, Petr Solc, Brand Director for Skoda Auto India, welcomed the Indian government’s increased focus on laws and policies that enhance automobile safety. He stated, “Safety is an important aspect, and active and passive safety features, along with the structure of the car, keep the driver and their family safe. Skoda will continue focusing on safety to further grow the brand in the Indian market.”
Understanding Bharat NCAP
The Bharat NCAP parameters have been finalized by the Indian government, in line with global crash test protocols. The safety norms encompass various aspects, including pedestrian-friendly design, structural safety, active and passive safety assist technologies, and the safety of adult and child occupants. These factors collectively determine the rating of a vehicle, assigned on a scale of one to five stars, similar to renowned programs like Global NCAP and Euro NCAP.
The Bharat NCAP crash test ratings will be enforced for vehicles with type approval up to eight-seater models, including the driver’s seat, and a gross vehicle weight lower than 3.5 tonnes. This includes not only conventional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles but also CNG and electric vehicles. The program is voluntary, but manufacturers will be encouraged to submit sample vehicles for testing. The designated agency will have the authority to select car models from showrooms for assessment.
This new crash test rating system is important for the safety of all drivers and passengers. The Bharat NCAP will be testing a variety of vehicles, so it is important to know which ones are the safest. Be sure to research the crash test ratings before you buy your next car!
Benefits and Implications
The Bharat NCAP (National Car Assessment Program) is a much-needed initiative that holds significant advantages for both consumers and automakers. By establishing standardized crash test ratings, it empowers customers with vital safety information, enabling them to make informed decisions. Furthermore, the program encourages automakers to prioritize safety and strive for higher safety standards, fostering healthy competition in the industry. This is great news for Indian consumers, who have long been deprived of such information. The Bharat NCAP will help them make more informed choices about the cars they buy and ultimately make our roads safer.
For homegrown automakers, Bharat NCAP presents a unique opportunity. Previously, they had to send their sample vehicles to Global NCAP for crash testing, a costly process. With the implementation of Bharat NCAP, this financial burden is alleviated, benefiting Indian manufacturers and potentially accelerating the development of safer vehicles for the domestic market.