It seems that car buyers in India are considering safety as an important aspect while purchasing cars because Toyota has experienced a 19 percent increase in sales eight months after fitting airbags as standard in all its models.

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For many years, car manufacturers in India have stayed away from equipping their vehicles with airbags due to the fact that higher costs resulting from the same will hurt their sales. However, this has not been the case with Japanese car major Toyota which became the first automobile manufacturer in the country to consider making Indian roads safer, in a literal manner. The company revealed that all of its future models will come equipped with airbags as standard and also went on to reveal that it will also be launching quality driving schools across the country.

After eight months of installing airbags as standard in all of its models sold in India, Toyota has experienced a rise in sales by 19 percent in the same period. Surprising isn’t it? According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the overall industry only managed a 5 percent growth in contrast to what Toyota encountered. According to Toyota, many people living in the small cities and towns of India are coming to realise the importance of safety in vehicles retailing nowadays. Our country continues to account for 15 percent of all traffic deaths in the world, even though we have only 1 percent of the world’s motor vehicles. Despite these alarming figures, the government of India is yet to make airbags or crash tests mandatory for new cars.

With the increasing number of people purchasing cars, customers are nowadays demanding more safety features, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which measures customer satisfaction levels. Last year alone, more than 80 percent of customers in our country said that they wanted anti-lock braking system (ABS) and 76 percent people wanted airbags fitted in vehicles. The government is playing catch up at present, trying to improve safety standards on Indian highways, thereby helping to boost economic output by 4 percent. We hope this is a sign for better things to come in our ever so prospering car market.

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