"The NCAP said the five vehicles it tested accounted for about 20
percent of all new cars sold in India annually."..."Tata has said it would like to export the Nano but has previously raised safety problems as an impediment."...
1/31/14, "Tata Nano and other Indian small cars fail crash tests," AFP via Yahoo Finance UK
"The Tata Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, and a host of
other top-selling small models from India have failed their first
independent crash tests, a global safety group said Friday.
five entry-level vehicles -- including the country's best-selling small
car the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, as well as the Ford Figo, the Hyundai
(KSE: 011760.KS - news) i10 and the Volkswagen Polo -- scored no stars out of five for protection.
tests, carried out by the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), saw the
basic models, all without airbags, driven at 64 kilometres an hour (40
miles) into a block simulating a head-on collision.
All would leave the driver facing life-threatening injuries.
worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star
standards now common in Europe and North America," said the head of
NCAP Global, Max Mosley, the former chief of international motorsport.
also tested the cars in a crash simulation according to United Nations
standards -- a frontal collision at the slightly slower speed of 56
kilometres an hour -- and none of them passed.
Small vehicles are
the biggest segment of the price-sensitive Indian car market, which is
coveted by global brands and domestic manufacturers as working-class
consumers upgrade from two- to four-wheelers.
The NCAP said the five vehicles it tested accounted for about 20 percent of all new cars sold in India annually.
Tata Nano was the brainchild of the former boss of the Tata
conglomerate Ratan Tata who wanted a cheap car for the masses. But it
has flopped since its launch in 2009, partly due to poor marketing.
NCAP tested only the basic models of the cars in question and it said
the Figo and Polo would provide much better protection if fitted with
airbags, which were an optional extra.
But the Nano, the i10 and the Alto (Other OTC: ALTO - news) had "inadequate" structures that meant that even air bags would "not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury".
As a result of the tests, Volkswagen (Other OTC: VLKAF - news) has withdrawn its Polo model without airbags, NCAP said.
models tested were bought locally and any exports from Hyundai, Ford
and Volkswagen, which have factories in India, would be subject to
safety regulations in their final market.
Tata has said it would like to export the Nano but has previously raised safety problems as an impediment.
Footage of the crash tests can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buMXtGoHHIg"
1/31/14, "Popular Indian cars fail crash tests," BBC