Nissan's executive vice president, Andy Palmer, says forcing low-cost car makers to meet European safety standards will drive up costs

Nissan's Andy Palmer has slammed criticism of low-cost cars built for emerging markets not meeting high safety standards as "absurd".

Palmer was speaking in reference to the recent launch of the Datsun Go, and in the wake of heavy criticism from Global NCAP on the safety standards of emerging-market cars including the Tata Nano and Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, which were handed poor ratings when subjected to Global NCAP's crash tests.

Palmer said, "I think the people who criticise these cars for not meeting US or European crash standards are living in a dream world.

"We are talking about cars built to transport people who would otherwise be four or five-up on a motorcycle. These people today can't afford more, and if we fit safety systems we will drive the prices up and they'll choose the motorbike again. A car with a body and individual seats is much safer than a bike.

"This is not about putting someone in an unsafe situation. To think they can afford cars built to European or US crash standards overnight is absurd."

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4 March 2014
"He would say that wouldn't he"?

4 March 2014
But not being more safe in a car with even half decent safety features clearly doesn't matter to And Palmer. You can imagine the conversation:- "well, they may lose the use of all their arms and legs, and their face may be smashed in on the steering wheel, and they've lost their site and speech as a result, but at least they'll still be alive unlike riding a bike."

4 March 2014
Nissan should say the right thing and advise getting on a bus, as that is cheaper than buying a car.

4 March 2014
I always wondered what that would look like?! Sounds more dramatic than it actually is, one of these bizarre tabloid terms that just means someone disagrees with something... Back on topic I don't think anyone would expect emerging markets vehicles to be quite as safe as 1st world products on cost grounds but there are still lots of things you can hit belted inside a car that you could have jumped free of on a motorbike.

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