At the 2018 NDTV Auto Expo Awards, Global NCAP had made an announcement regarding the ‘Safer Choice’ awards that will be conferred to Indian cars that adhere to the highest levels of safety on the basis of NCAP ratings. The NCAP has been scoring the cars made in India in the past few years and most of them got scores between 0 and 4 stars. The car with the highest rating, i.e., the 5-star rating, will be the recipient of the ‘Safer Choice’ award. None of the mass market cars made in India have attained the 5-star rating at the global NCAP tests as of now.
Global NCAP is a UK based company that targets the promotion of public health and safety and consumer-oriented safety in vehicles. The organisation has designed several parameters to assess the safety quotient of cars. NCAP also conducts tests to verify the same. Some of the most popular tests from NCAP are the crash tests that evaluate the structural stability of a vehicle. The crash test also reviews the type of impact an average person would be subjected to at the time of a collision.
The comprehensive crash test scenario created for evaluating these parameters is a highlight of the programme. Cars from different countries are tested for safety at the ADAC facility in Germany.
The results of the NCAP test conducted recently has been all over the news. Some cars made in India have passed the tests, scoring up to 4 stars, indicating that Indian auto manufacturers have the capability and technology needed to produce super-safe cars within India.
Some of the cars manufactured in India that received top scores at the NCAP tests are listed below for your reference:
The Toyota Etios Liva may well be one of the cheapest cars in India with the best safety features. Apart from the fact that it is the least-priced model from the stable of Toyota in the Indian automobile scene, it managed to score 4 stars in the NCAP safety test conducted at a global level. The car scored 4 stars in the measure for adult protection and 2 stars for child protection. It should be noted that the Liva has dual airbags as standard.
In the second NCAP test that Volkswagen Polo was subjected to, the vehicle recorded a 4-star rating. The hiccups that the car encountered in the initial tests were quickly addressed by the car manufacturer and the vehicle got dual airbags. The second NCAP test was taken after the addition of the airbags. The car scored 3 stars in the measure for child protection with 12.54 points out of 17. The interesting thing to note here is that the addition of airbags will not simply bring the score up. The body structure of the car should be stable and the vehicle should be able to withstand several types of forces.
The Volkswagen Vento has two star ratings for each variant of the car. The model without the Electronic Stability program (ESP) scored 4 stars while the one with ESP (1.2 TSi) received 5 stars at the ASEAN NCAP. It is known that the test parameters for the ASEAN NCAP ratings are slightly different from the global test. In the ASEAN NCAP test, the presence of ESP is mandated. Both variants of the car have scored 14.51 out of 16 in the measure of adult protection, indicating that both cars have strong and stable body structures.
The vehicle is monocoque, which implies that it has a structure in which the chassis is integral to the body. The Australian NCAP tested the vehicle and gave it a 4-star rating. The model tested was the AWD version. The tests included side and frontal impact crashes. The XUV scored 16 points out of 16 in the side impact test, while it got only 10 points out of 16 in the frontal offset test. The total score of the vehicle was 26 points, out of the maximum 37 points.
The Hyundai Creta is a highly successful car in the Indian SUV space. The car received a commendable rating of 4 stars at the Latin NCAP tests, scoring 15.57 points out of the total 17. The vehicle tested had dual airbags, similar to the Indian version. The Latin NCAP test revealed that the body shell of the vehicle is very stable and can handle extra loading.
Following the interest garnered by the NCAP tests, several car manufacturers in India have started equipping their vehicles with the latest safety features. Some of these include:
The aforementioned cars are the safest you can get your hands on in 2018. In India, the safety regulations are not as strict as seen in the global markets. Crash tests are not usually conducted here as well. With the introduction of the safety guidelines from the government and the ‘Safer Choice’ awards from global NCAP, it is certain that car manufacturers will lay more focus on the security features of cars when creating their production models.
The Nissan Kicks is slated to make its way to the Indian market on 22 January 2019. This premium SUV will be available in both diesel and petrol variants. Nissan has already started accepting bookings for the car from the middle of December 2018. Based on the same platform as the Renault Duster and Captur, the Kicks also uses a similar engine as the Captur and Duster. Both the diesel and petrol engines of the car are 1.5-litre units. While the petrol engine is coupled with a 5-speed transmission and is capable of producing a maximum power of 104 bhp and a peak torque of 142Nm, the diesel variant is mated to a 6-speed transmission and is capable of generating 109 bhp of maximum power and 240 Nm of peak torque.
The Nissan Kicks will be available with several segment-standard features such as climate control, touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a leather-wrapped dashboard, and LED headlamps. On the other hand, the party piece of this SUV will be equipped with 360-degree surround view camera, which is a first in segment features. Competing against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, Renault Captur, and Hyundai Creta along with the production version of the Kia SP2i SUV. The expected price of the Nissan Kicks will range from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.15 lakh.
10 January 2019
Honda Cars India released the sales number for December 2018 and recorded a 4% growth rate when compared to the sales number for the previous year. The car makers sold a total of 13,139 units in the previous month in contrast to the 12,642 units sold for the same time period in the previous year.
Among the passenger vehicles sold in December 2018, the Amaze was the best seller followed by the WR-V and City. Honda Cars India sold approximately 1.34 lakh units between April to December 2018 alone.
Following the implementation of the GST in 2017, Honda Cars India recovered from the drop in sales that was caused during the transition period. Other factors that contributed to the drop in sales in the previous year was fuel prices and premium rates for insurance.
7 January 2019
Major reforms are expected for the Indian automobile sector in the coming months. From doing away with an entire level of emission norm to the introduction of the country’s very own crash test ratings, four-wheelers sold in the country will soon be in keeping with international standards. A whole set of new vehicles are also expected to be launched in 2019, making the future of certain vehicles appear bleak. Here are some of the cars that might be discontinued in the new year:
4 January 2019
Maruti Suzuki India has now started to test their electric cars in India. The company had earlier opened announced that it was planning began testing its vehicles on-road in India in October. A number of test mules have been spotted. The car was not camouflaged but had the words printed .‘Electric Vehicle’ printed all around it. The graphics put in place in the vehicle and the decal go hand in hand. The new battery powered Wagon R is based on the all new generation of the Wagon R that was unveiled at the start of this year. The launch of the production model of the vehicle will start by some time in 2020. Maruti Suzuki India has still been testing out close to 50 testing prototype electric vehicles, all of which have been developed by the Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan. A number of real-life testings are being carried out by the company across different terrains and climatic conditions. Knowing these results will help the company get better clarity on the type of electric vehicle best suited for the Indian market. While most of the details about the car is still unknown, the car will be making use of a lithium- ion battery pack that has been developed by Toshiba and Toyota in collaboration with each other.
26 December 2018
The Tata Harrier is expected to be launched in January 2019 and is expected to be priced ranging between Rs.16 lakh and Rs.21 lakh. The Tata Harrier was officially revealed by the company to the media in Jodhpur recently. The Tata Harrier is powered by a Kryotec 2.0L turbocharged inline 4 cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 1,956 cc. The maximum power of the Tata harrier stands at 103 kW at 3,750 rpm with a maximum torque of 350 Nm at 1,750 - 2,500 rpm. The multiples driving modes on offer are the Sport, City, and Eco. The ESP terrain modes are rough, wet, and normal. The vehicle comes with alloy wheels with a 235/65 R17 radial tubeless tyre. The spare tyre provided is of 235/70 R16. Disc brakes are provided for braking in the front and drum is provided at the rear. ABS with EBD, ESP, child lock, immobiliser, isofix, clutch lock, perimetric alarm system, and speed sensing auto door lock are some of the features offered on the Tata Harrier. The driver and front passenger seats are equipped with airbags as part of a total of 6 airbags provided in the Harrier. Remote central locking and seat belt reminder in the driver and co-driver seat are some of the other features offered in the vehicle. The Tata Harrier will become the longest and widest SUV offered in the segment and will be bigger than the likes of the Honda CRV and Mahindra XUV500. The interiors of the vehicle will include a high resolution touchscreen infotainment system that will come equipped with JBL speakers to give the best sound experience while driving.
24 December 2018
The number of SUV launches in the Indian car market has been rising steadily and this trend is not expected to decline any time soon. 2019 has a number of car launches and most of these cars are in the SUV segment.
2019 Renault Duster
The facelift version of the Renault Duster will be launched in the coming year and has a number of changes in terms of the styling. The carmakers will continue to offer the SUV in diesel and petrol variants and will be adding 2WD and 4WD variants as well.
2019 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
The Pajero Sport will mark Mitsubishi’s comeback into the Indian car market. The car that is to be launched in 2019 will compete with the Fortuner, Alturas G4, and Endeavour.
2019 Nissan Kicks
Kicks is Nissan’s newest offering in the premium SUV segment. The car is expected to have a number of advanced features unlike any of the other cars in the segment.
2019 Mahindra S201
Mahindra is yet to reveal the name of its latest SUV offering which has been codenamed S201. The car will come loaded with a number of new features and will be available in a number of variants.
18 December 2018
Tata Motors is looking to launch an electric version of the Nexon in the financial year 2019. The petrol and diesel version of the Nexon have been quite popular in the Indian car market. Confirmation on the launch is yet to be confirmed by the carmakers and the car is likely to be unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo.
The Nexon is unlikely to have a competitor in this segment and will probably be more affordable than the Hyundai Kona EV which is scheduled to launch sometime next year. The Nexon EV will most likely retain the same dimensions and features of the petrol and diesel variants.
17 December 2018
MG unveiled its latest ZS model of the full-electric SUV at the motor show held in Guangzhou. This is expected to be launched in India by mid-2020. Also called the EZS, the electric SUV does not look very different from the ZS SUV’s regular model. It has 350Nm peak torque and 150PS power. The company claims it can reach 0-50 kmph in 3.1 seconds with a range of 428 km. It also claims that 30 minutes of charging is sufficient for the battery to be powered from 0 to 80%. There is a panoramic sunroof. The central console panel has a rotary drive mode selector. There is also an 8-inch touchscreen display.
The MG EZS will be the second model to be launched in India. The first car will be launched in 2019. It will be in competition with the Hyundai Kona Electric which costs around Rs.25 lakh.
14 December 2018
The Jonty Rhodes limited edition of the Isuzu V-Cross is launched in India. The vehicle has a variety of visual upgrades in addition to an opportunity to meet Jonty Rhodes, the legendary South African cricketer. The vehicle gets the Jonty Rhodes accessory package for Rs.1.99 lakh. In addition, buyers will get a complimentary ticket to the iV-League adventure drive event. Only 30 select customers will be able to avail this special edition package. The Limited 30 package will have new body graphics, the inscription saying ‘Limited 30’, the signature of Jonty Rhodes, front as well as rear bumper skirts on the exterior, and a silver brushed skid plate.
13 December 2018
Ford Motor’s business in India has finally witnessed and posted a profit for the first time in 9 years in the fiscal year 2018. As opposed to a loss of Rs.521 crore in the previous year, the American automaker has clocked a profit of Rs.526 crore this year. The company has reported the same to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. After India was made an export base, Ford India has improved its capacity utilisation and has taken effective cost reduction methods. Reportedly, Ford Motors has also entered a joint venture with Mahindra in India with the aim of developing new SUVs and to work on Electric Vehicle (EV) Technology.
Ford Motors has adopted a new model called the ‘Emerging Market Operating Model’. This model has helped the company to reduce its cost effectively in India. The model has helped the company to cut down about 37% of the cost in the last few years. It is to be noted that the company has made its operations in India profitable at a time when it is facing slow demands in China as well as its home market, the USA. In FY18, Ford India has reported a rise of 16% in its export volume at 1.8 lakh units. This rise has been accompanied by a steady rise in the domestic sales as well. The combined figures have helped the automaker to grow by almost 15%.
12 December 2018