Maruti Sceptical About Its Entry-level Models Getting Six Airbags
The addition of four airbags could increase costs by around Rs 60,000
Maruti studying the feasibility of adding six airbags in its entry-level models.
For six airbags, all the cars that come with just dual airbags would probably need to undergo structural changes.
Since the entire upgrade could increase the purchase costs of entry-level cars by a huge margin, carmakers could very well discontinue them.
Four airbags, which could increase the prices by just around Rs 30,000, still a feasible option.
With the government’s new six airbags rule kicking in from October, carmakers with entry-level models will face some issues. Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava, in a recent interview, has spoken about what could happen with Maruti’s entry-level models.
He said, “I don't even know if six airbags will fit in the small cars because they are not meant for small cars. We will have to find that out. It will certainly be another setback to the sales of small cars. Putting four extra airbags would be a substantial cost."
Maruti is studying the feasibility of adding four airbags in its entry-level models, which hints us that some of the models might be discontinued. The addition of four airbags is expected to hike the prices of every entry-level model and its variants by around Rs 60,000.
Also Read: Cars With Six Airbags In India
The addition of four airbags might require the car to undergo certain structural changes. While the side airbags will be fitted on the front seats, the curtain airbags will be installed on the top of the B-pillar. This will be in addition to the existing costs of adding four airbags. Here's our detailed insight on why the addition of six airbags actually doesn't make a big impact on car safety.
Most of the cars that are currently equipped with just dual airbags need to undergo these engineering changes. It still makes sense to upgrade high-selling or premium vehicles, but not for entry-level sub-5 lakh cars. In the case of Maruti, models like the Alto and S-Presso will face the heat as their prices will increase by a huge margin.
A similar scene was recently seen as Hyundai discontinued the Santro. With its range-topping variants already touching Rs 7.5 lakh on-road, addition of airbags would make it cross the 8-lakh mark, which is too high for an entry-level car.
Addition of just two side airbags still seems feasible for these entry-level models. This could increase the costs by around Rs 30,000, which still seems affordable. FYI, the Brazilian-spec Renault Kwid already gets four airbags as standard.
There are chances that Maruti might discontinue its entry-level models. Once the deadline nears, we’ll have a clear idea on the existence of such entry-level models.
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