Why call it a great car, if it isn't safe?' this got you thinking, right? Well, why not? The modern era has newfangled in leaps and bounds with complex product engineering, not just to make human life simpler and better but also to make it safer. The advent of safer transportation has gained quite a momentum in recent times, and now consumers resonate with the safety standards with firm affirmation. Auto manufacturers are banking their fortunes on better and safer products, which is the celebration of dynamism in the Indian market. German auto giant – Volkswagen's recent 5-star safety rating in the Global New Car Assessment Programme (GNCAP) is a testimony of its solemnity for the Indian market.
India, as a country, ranks top in the number of road accident deaths across other global countries. Horrifying data from the World Health Organization reveals that one out of 10 people killed on roads across the world is from India. Moreover, the casualties and deaths caused by such road accidents not only anguish the victim's family but also negatively impact the country's potential economy. According to data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, during the year 2020, the total recorded 3,66,138 road accidents caused the loss of 1,31,714 lives and injured 3,48,279 persons. Despite several efforts from the Government of India, initiatives by NGOs, corporate giants and educational institutes, road safety still remains a significant concern. And now, the latest news of the death of an Indian business conglomerate has awakened the nation's need for stringent safety protocols and norms. They say road accidents are inevitable, but what they don't say is how we can minimize the frequency and amplitude of it. Not just India needs better roads and strict safety policy norms, but it also needs to mandate the safest cars on the road. Well, praiseworthy is the government's move to make six airbags compulsory across all models with 8-seater capacity.Believe it or not, using sub-standard, old, non-safe vehicles is not just a threat to the owner but also to the whole transportation ecosystem. Cars with better build quality, global-level safety ratings, and basic safety complaints are not just a luxury but a pressing priority. Safety compliance is not just a certificate but a validation of putting your bucks on the lives that matter.
India is obsessed with SUVs. Believe it or not, every other car sold in India has an SUV-shaped body style. Somewhere down the line, you might even be looking for an SUV. So, Volkswagen gearing up with the India 2.0 strategy with an SUV was a no-brainer. The competition rivals - Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, have already established themselves strongly in the Indian market. The other British and Japanese manufacturers are the ones VW intended to compete against head-to-head for the pie in market share. But now, in less than a year, VW has passed expectations with marginally better sales results, and with the latest 5-star GNCAP rating, it has a proud feather in its cap to flex its capabilities to even go up against established Koreans. It is a wake-up call for other foreign auto manufacturers to strengthen their safety departments, which are yet to score 5-star safety ratings in the updated GNCAP crash test.
Volkswagen Taigun and its sibling rival were the first cars to be tested under the upgraded GNCAP protocols, and both the cars built on a modern MQB-A0-IN platform proudly achieved 5-star ratings for both adult and child occupants. The 5-seater made-in-India SUV scored 29.64 points out of a maximum of 34 points in adult occupant protection and secured 42 points in the child occupant protection test out of 49 possible points.
In the range of good to bad in the frontal offset deformable barrier test, the protection offered to the passenger's overall body was good. Whereas the protection provided to the driver's head, neck and knees was good. The chest maintained adequate protection. Moreover, during the frontal impact test, the bodyshell was rated as stable and capable of withstanding further loadings. The side impact results were also satisfactory, wherein head, abdomen and pelvis protection was good, while chest protection was marginal. Overall in the side movable deformable barrier test, the Taigun scored 14.5 points out of 17. The side pole impact test carried out under the new protocol with 6-airbags received the 'OK' rating. In the department of child occupant protection, the Taigun scored maximum in Dynamic and CRS Installation.
What's premium safety nets for other cars are the standard for VW Taigun. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Pedestrian Protection and seat belt reminders are standard across all the variants. When Volkswagen asserts safety as its north star and the safety badge is a reaffirmation of the customer's faith, they mean it by providing 40+ active and passive safety features, including ESC, 6-airbags, multi-Collision Brake and Hill-Hold Control, to name a few.
We have always cherished the Taigun driving dynamics. Be it on long highways or inter-city commutes, Taigun has always put joy on the driver's face with its overall German characteristics. And now, with the latest 5-star GNCAP rating, the satisfaction will be even more gratified with an amplified safety stamp complimenting the enthusiast-driving nature of the car.Not just the Indian manufacturer, but also the foreign manufacturer taking safety into account is a real celebration for us. Volkswagen, for now, is the only foreign manufacturer to score 5-star on the updated GNCAP test. The Taigun has now been garlanded as the safest SUV in its segment, showing how committed Volkswagen is to its safety standards.
Recently, Volkswagen celebrated the 1st anniversary of the Taigun. Phew, how fast time flies by so quickly. Volkswagen's 2.0 strategy and investment are paying dividends with every passing day. The Taigun, built on the highly localized MQB-A0-IN platform, justifies the overall platform architecture's capability. Taigun is the showcase of the benchmark German engineering on the Indian platform with high standards and safety ratings. Though no matter how competitive the Indian SUV segment is, the advent of safer cars will always be cherished for all good reasons. With the recent 5-star stunt, Volkswagen has intended its long-term strategic commitment to serve German-class products with best-in-class safety standards.
The future of Volkswagen seems to be bright and safe. With India 2.0 plan, the brand has delivered on the potential it packs to be successful in the Indian market. The localized platform is not just cost-effective, which is beneficial for the Indian economy but is also safer, guarding Indian consumers. VW Taigun, the first SUV under the brand's India 2.0 strategy, has set the safety momentum for the market and has significantly showcased its 5-star commitment to the Indian market. Volkswagen's aspirational ambitions are the rays of hope for a better and safer era. Volkswagen 5-star stint is the wakeup call for the other manufacturer to follow the safety trend to bless Indian roads with more safer cars.