Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari launched the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) in New Delhi aiming to enhance road safety by elevating vehicle safety standards for up to 3.5-tonne vehicles in India.
Addressing the gathering he said this is a landmark step towards empowering our consumers for being able to make a better choice for buying safer cars. Gadkari said Bharat NCAP will also greatly push the safety and quality of the vehicles in India, while simultaneously promoting a healthy competition among OEMs to manufacture safer vehicles. He said the new safety regime under Bharat NCAP and AIS-197 is a mutual win-win for manufacturers and consumers and an instrumental step towards safeguarding lives of our citizens and making our Automobile Industry the number one auto manufacturing hub in the world.
The programme is applicable to type approved motor vehicles of M1 category less than 3.5T GVW. This is a voluntary program in which the base variants of a given model shall be tested. This programme will commence from Oct 1, 2023 and will be based on Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197. Program aims to create ecosystem of competitive safety enhancements leading to increased awareness among consumers. Consumers can take an informed decision by making a comparative assessment on vehicle performance under crash test conditions.
NCAP brings the opportunity to the OEMs to manufacture vehicles of global safety standards. The programme will be anchored by Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT). This programme has been evolved based on stakeholder consultations .
TOYOTA KIRLOSKAR MOTOR: “We appreciate the Government’s decision to introduce Bharat-NCAP and strongly believe that it is a step in the right direction. The decision comes at a time when consumers are looking at highest standards of safety and seeking for safer vehicles, which is steering purchase decision. In addition to empowering consumers, this will also help bring about greater awareness and further transparency by allowing them to know comparative safety aspects of various products on offer.
“As far as TKM is concerned, human lives are the most important and safety is non-negotiable. We have always taken all measures to ensure that our offerings meet the highest standards in all respects. Looking ahead, we will continue to follow a holistic approach which includes making of ever safer cars, with advanced features, as well as focusing on safety educational activities”, said, Vikram Gulati, Country Head & Executive Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
KIA INDIA: Myung-Sik Sohn, Chief Sales and Business Officer, Kia India, said, "BNCAP is an enhanced road safety movement that extends much beyond just safety ratings for cars. We wholeheartedly commend and will comply with the Government of India for its visionary approach to safety, encompassing both active and passive safety components. Aligned with the Atmanirbhar Vision of the Government of India, this move eliminates the need and associated costs of testing vehicles outside. It will also elevate the global reputation of products from India to the world with good ratings in a big way”.
ACMA: Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), the apex body representing India’s Auto Component manufacturing industry applauds the launch of BNCAP by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Government of India.
Thanking Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, MoRTH, for this transformative path-breaking imitative towards safer vehicles in India, Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA commented, “The launch of BNCAP protocol is indeed historic. It will lead to the integration of advanced safety features in vehicles thus minimising the risk of road accidents and fatalities. This initiative will not only bolster the auto component industry’s value chain but will also stimulate the production of cutting-edge components, encourage innovation, and create global excellence. We anticipate a safer automotive landscape and a future where Indian auto component manufacturers thrive on the global stage, while also contributing to responsible driving practices, reduced healthcare burdens, and potential incentives from the insurance sector. The Indian Auto Component Industry embraces this initiative wholeheartedly, recognizing its pivotal role in driving growth and global competitiveness”.
HYUNDAI MOTOR INDIA: Unsoo Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Limited, noted, “We welcome the BNCAP safety initiative by Govt. of India and believe this effort will raise safety standards, empower consumers with vital information, and make Indian roads safer for all. At Hyundai Motor India, we remain committed to delivering the highest safety standards across our entire product range”.
INDUSLAW: Arun Kumar, Partner, INDUSLAW, said, “Launch of Bharat NCAP (BNCAP) was much awaited and hopefully will set the tone for educating customers about safety & quality of passenger car vehicles in India and for manufacturers to build safer vehicles. While the BNCAP standards and testing process seem to be aligned with Global NCAP (GNCAP) and other international testing standards, it needs to be kept in mind that some of the international standards are also said to undergo an overhaul to further improve the safety standards of vehicles.”
“A downside to Bharat NCAP is that the safety assessment test is not mandatory for all vehicles, but instead is a voluntary testing process in the hands of the vehicle manufacturers. So, while BNCAP ratings will be an essential tool for customers to compare and evaluate safety standards of cars and then make an informed purchase, a genuine assessment is possible only if BNCAP testing is made mandatory for all vehicles. Given the long requirement of India having its own vehicle safety & testing standards, BNCAP should have made testing mandatory, especially since the cars that are typically sold in high volumes in India score poorly in international testing standards like GNCAP etc. Also, the thresholds for test results seem to have been watered down in BNCAP when compared to other international standards.”
“But all said, this is a start, and Indian manufacturers will adopt BNCAP since it will save costs significantly for them from sending their vehicles abroad for international testing. With time and widespread adoption, we can hope that BNCAP standards will be made mandatory and testing standards made more robust.”
SKODA AUTO INDIA: Petr Solc, Brand Director, Skoda Auto India, said: “A recently released survey highlights that safety is getting greater importance by customers, in the car purchase decision. Our cars have always offered the highest safety and quality standards. Skoda has an over 50-year legacy with crash-tests and safety. And since 2008, every Škoda car has been crash-tested globally, and in India, with the highest possible 5-star safety rating.
“We appreciate that the Indian Government is putting greater emphasis on safety regulations and policies that improves car safety. The introduction of BNCAP is a step in the right direction. Safety is an important aspect and active and passive safety features, along with the structure of the car keeps the driver and their family safe. Skoda is a family brand, and safety of all customers is our top priority. Skoda will continue focusing on safety to further grow the brand in the Indian market.”
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