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Tata Motors to rev up safety aspect for its passenger vehicles

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 5, 2019  | 16:02 IST

By Munish Shekhavat Geneva, Mar 5 (PTI) Tata Motors plans to amplify focus on safety aspect in its passenger vehicles going ahead by conforming to the highest level of global standards, a top company official said. The company, whose compact SUV Nexon already conforms to 5-star safety rating by Global NCAP that is much stricter than the existing government regulations in India, also wants to replicate the enhanced safety aspect across its electric vehicles going ahead. "5-Star Global NCAP needs to be the norm for Tata Motors. If there is a star, we would like to have five of them," Tata Motors MD & CEO Guenter Butschek said here in an interaction. With upgradation in safety features and making models conform to better emission norms, vehicle prices may, however, go up, he pointed out. "Customers need to be educated on importance of safety ...it is not going to come free...the consumer who goes with a mindset of discounts will have to shell out more due to changing regulatory requirements," Butschek said. He, however, declined to comment on the changes in pricing structure but added that even the "big boys" as compared to Tata Motors would not be able to "swallow this additional cost". Elaborating further, Tata Motors Chief Technical Officer Rajendra Petkar said that in the wake of new regulations kicking some of the company's products may not be able to "transition" to next level due to constraints in body architecture. New products from the stable of Tata Motors would now be based on two architectures optimal modular efficient global advanced (OMEGA) and agile light advanced architecture (ALFA). While the ALFA architecture is going to cover all vehicles from 3.7 metre to 4.3 metre the OMEGA architecture is going to accommodate all products from 4.3 metre and above region. The company has already launched SUV Harrier on OMEGA platform. It plans to launch premium hatchback Altroz by middle of this year. When asked about future of products like Tiago and Tigor that are based on company's X0 architecture, Petkar said they will continue to be there in the line up beyond 2020. He, however, said that upcoming safety regulations from October this year and later BSVI emissions in April 2020 and CAFE norms in 2022 would "kill some of the products.". Stating that the company has to go through this transition, Petkar added,"The products which were designed 10-15 years ago will not continue in the same manner." He added that company's new architecture, with some incremental modifications would enable its products to garner the highest level of safety standards. The products will have safety features as mandated by the government from October 2019 like two airbags and seat belt reminder as standard. The vehicles would also conform to offset frontal crash and side impact crash tests at 64km/hr, Petkar said. In order to homologate vehicles currently, Indian regulatory authorities crash test vehicles at 56 km/hr. When asked if the company can also make its current products conform to 5 star rating, Petkar said: "There is a cost element in that but we are looking at it now. It is a possibility." On fuel options going ahead in its models, he said that Tiago and Tigor will feature only petrol powertrains beyond 2020. He also confirmed petrol engine for Harrier range going ahead. PTI MSS RKL MR MR

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