The secretary general of Global NCAP, the organisation that assesses the safety standards of new cars around the world, has dismissed claims that stringent tests on budget cars built for emerging markets are misguided.
Global NCAP recently branded Indian-market cars such as the Tata Nano and Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800 as “unsafe”, after subjecting them to its crash tests.
But Nissan boss Andy Palmer labelled the criticism of the cars as “absurd”. He added: “I think the people who criticise these cars for not meeting US or European crash standards are living in a dream world.”
Palmer said: “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.”
Nissan recently launched the Datsun Go, a new budget vehicle for the emerging markets.