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."