Importance of Safety Features in Cars: 9 out of 10 Customers in India Demand Safety Ratings

A recent study commissioned by Škoda Auto India and conducted by NIQ BASES has shed light on the preferences of customers in India when it comes to choosing a personal car. The study revealed that 9 out of 10 customers believe that all cars in India should have a safety rating, indicating a strong inclination towards safety features.

The survey, which included respondents between the ages of 18 and 54 in the SEC A and B bracket, found that crash ratings and the number of airbags were the top two features driving consumer car purchase decisions. Fuel efficiency ranked third among the popular features. Of the respondents, 67% were current car owners with cars valued above Rs 5 lakh, while the remaining 33% were planning to purchase a car in the same price range within a year.

When it comes to the importance of features, the car’s crash rating was identified as the top driver of car purchase decisions with an importance score of 22.3%. The number of airbags followed closely behind with an importance score of 21.6%. Fuel efficiency emerged as the third most important driver with an importance score of 15.0%.

In terms of crash ratings, the study found that a 5-star rating was the most preferred choice among customers, with 22.2% of respondents expressing a preference for it. A 4-star rating was the next popular choice, with 21.3% of respondents favoring it. Notably, a crash rating of zero was the least preferred option, receiving only 6.8% of the preference score.

The survey also highlighted that while awareness about the existence of two sets of 5-star safety ratings for crash tests is high at around 76%, only about 30% of all customers in India recognized the importance of child/rear occupants’ safety rating as being part of those two sets.

Petr Šolc, Brand Director of Škoda Auto India, emphasized the brand’s commitment to safety, stating that every Škoda car has been crash-tested globally and in India, earning a 5-star safety rating since 2008. Šolc expressed satisfaction in seeing consumers in India being aware of and demanding safety, particularly in light of the country’s growing infrastructure and upcoming proposals for India’s own crash-testing standards.

The survey conducted by NIQ BASES leveraged customer choices and the Feature Price Optimizer (FPO) solution based on discrete choice methodology. It covered 1,000 individuals across ten states in India, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.

The study’s findings resonate with the efforts of organizations like Global NCAP, which has been encouraging a market shift towards safer cars in India since 2014. Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Global NCAP, commended the positive response from consumers and the impact it has had on driving improvements in automaker safety designs. Furas highlighted that safety is not only a priority for saving lives but also a factor that sells cars.

With a growing emphasis on safety from the Indian government and regulators, this study provides valuable insights into consumer perceptions of safety features in cars. It helps identify the most discriminating features driving consumer choice and highlights the significance of safety in the decision-making process.

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