Hyundai To Push The Safety Envelope In India

Srinjoy Bal
04 Oct 2023
10:56 AM
1 Min Read

The company has taken its first step in the direction by offering six airbags as standard across all models.

Hyundai Motor India
Tarun Garg

Hyundai Motor India will focus strongly on democratising safety going forward, according to its Chief Operating Officer, Tarun Garg.

He told Mobility Outlook that safety should not be the sole privilege of a select few but for everyone outside the car.

It is in this background that Hyundai standardised six airbags across its range including every trim level. While this would mean an additional 1% to 1.5% cost on the vehicles, Garg was confident that this would not affect demand. From his point of view, as in the case of  sunroofs and ventilated seats, safety features have also become critical for customers.

Hyundai recently carried out a survey where customers were given a choice of four packages. Most opted for safety which showed the growing maturity in  consumer dynamics.

Garg said with better road infrastructure, it was important for OEMs to make safer vehicles. Beyond the six airbags, the Korean carmaker is also looking at standardising ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) and VSM (Vehicle Stability Managment) across models, he added.

It also intends increasing the levels of advanced safety features such as ADAS which was first offered with Tucson in 2022 and has since extended to five models comprising 38% of its portfolio. Plans are on to increase this component to 60% ans eventually have ADAS across all models.

Focus On Strong Cars

Hyundai is also working towards building stronger vehicle structures. The recently updated Verna’s chassis extensively uses advanced high strength steel. “I think all these factors helped get adult as well as child protection safety in its five star rating,” said Garg.

Hyundai Verna Body Shell

The company plans to have three more models tested under BNCAP which has pretty much the same stringency levels and mandates six airbags for a five star safety rating. Hyundai has also pulled out all the stops to ensure that its CNG vehicles, which make up nearly 15% of its portfolio, also achieve a good safety rating.

Update On Talegaon 

Hyundai recently announced its intention to acquire General Motors' Talegaon plant in Maharashtra. Once everything is in place, the company hopes to achieve one million units annual production by 2025, with its Chennai facility accounting for 8.5 lakh units. 

As for absorbing the existing GM workforce at Talegaon, they need to be competent enough to handle the modern machinery that will be installed at the plant. This will be an important factor in hiring them.

Hyundai will produce electric vehicles at Chennai which will also houset a battery assembly line while Talegaon will cater to its ICE  range. 

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