From October 1st, 2019, all new cars sold in India must comply with the country’s new ‘minimum safety program’, called as Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP). Maruti’s two hot selling cars – the Omni and the Eeco – which together sell over 10,000 copies each month, will get a major safety upgrade. Once this happens, Maruti can continue selling the Omni and Eeco in India. Airbags, ABS, seat belt reminder and reverse parking sensors are the key new safety features that the cars are likely to soon get.
Confirming this development to MoneyControl, CV Raman, Executive Director (engineering), Maruti Suzuki India said,
We are working into this. We need to meet both the emission and safety norms. So we are evaluating various possibilities for all the models. Definitely our endeavor will be to make them (Omni and Eeco) meet (the norms). So the engineering work in going on for that.
Both the Omni and Eeco are not just popular among personal car buyers in India but also among cab operators. A lot of buyers also use these cars as cargo vans. This is a segment that’s growing, and Maruti can’t afford to dump these cars just because they can’t meet new safety norms in their current forms. This is probably why Maruti is putting the effort to get these cars to meet the new safety norms. Similarly, the Mahindra Bolero – another solid workhorse – will get safety upgrades to meet the BNVSAP norms.
Maruti’s new range of cars are already BNVSAP compliant. Cars like the Vitara Brezza, Ignis, Dzire, Swift and Baleno have been designed to meet the new safety norms. The automaker’s upcoming launches will also be ready to meet the stringent new safety standards. With more automakers building BNVSAP cars, we hope that Indian roads – which have the highest road fatalities in the world – get safer.