Maruti Suzuki India’s new crash test facility at Rohtak has been fully functional for a short time, but already engineers are busy with occupant protection.
To help increase the use of child seats, all of the company’s new cars will come with Isofix anchor points. These improve child seat performance considerably by latching the seat onto the chassis of the car. Insiders say Maruti is in the process of getting together a group of suppliers to help make affordable but crash-worthy child seats in India.
It’s not that good quality child seats aren’t available in the domestic market. Companies like Chicco and Britax sell some of their best quality seats in India. While these seats provide extremely high levels of protection for infants and children, they are so expensive that most car owners and new parents tend to think twice before purchasing them. Most of the good-quality ones sell for an average price of Rs 24,000, with other more flexible ones more expensive still. There are affordable ones too, some as cheap as Rs 3,500, but Maruti engineers say most of the cheap ones are of very poor quality and provide little or almost no protection in a crash. Hence, the need for properly engineered ones.
The child seats are likely to be sold via the Maruti Genuine Parts network.