Consumers in the Indian car market have always been particular about their vehicle choices and factors that influence them. Unfortunately, security is not one of them and according to certain studies, Indian buyers do not pay much heed to safety features while purchasing a car. In pure economic terms, car customers in India, reports claim, do not want to pay extra for safety features. If one comes to think of it, there is a hierarchical structure in the demand of mass buyers in India. Following this, technological features like central locking, Bluetooth, stereo and power windows are really important for buyers in India.
Things like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and airbags are attributes that domestic buyers would not want to pay extra for. Industry experts feel that these trends are quite alarming and something needs to be done about them. India buyers need to be aware about the significance of safety features in cars. It must be noted that features like ABS, airbags and others add around 10 per cent more to the cost of a car, something that consumers do not like to pay for. Thereby, consumers are pretty comfortable not having such features in their vehicles. It is said that this kind of trend is majorly prevailing because of price sensitivity of domestic buyers. For most consumers, price and fuel economy are determinants for a car option.
Recently, Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 was given a score of naught while being tested for overall safety in South America. For people who have no information about international standards of security levels in cars, it comes a shocking piece of news. However, it did not come as a surprise to experts or anyone who knows about international safety standards. Car makers operating in India have been, sometimes, criticised in the past for not including safety features in their models. However, analysts feel that companies are not left with much choice, given the pattern of demand and what customers want. It is really important for any firm operating in India to target mass buyers for gaining a sizeable market share.
Thereby, companies reduce the number of security or safety features in a car, in order to price it more aggressively. Experts feel that there is a need for improvement in safety standards followed in India, which are much below than the norms implemented in Europe and USA. In order to bring a change to this trend, car makers include safety and security features in their high-end variants. Sources close to this development have claimed that sales of top end trims of cars, which have all safety features, have gone down in the recent past, thereby proving the scepticism of auto makers correct. Reports suggest that a number of customers prefer purchasing mid variants, rather than top end versions.