Friday, November 7, 2014

Toyota wants to sell more cars in India, where one death per minute in auto accidents

Toyota Qualis deaths.

OSAKA Japan/NEW DELHI Fri Nov 7, 2014
"(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp is struggling to crack the affordable end of India's car market and has called on mini-car affiliate Daihatsu for help...
Toyota Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara asked Daihatsu management earlier this year to help design affordable small cars suited to buyers in India, where Toyota models tend to come with a relatively high price tag....Daihatsu take the lead in developing no-frills cars that would be sold under the Toyota name and through Toyota's sales channels in India. 
'Toyota is struggling big time in India' largely because it uses relatively 'high-quality, high-spec' components for its cars there and failed to make use of cheaper parts available from indigenous local suppliers, a senior Daihatsu executive told Reuters."
Why sell more cars to people who have not yet learned how to drive safely, in a country that has:
One Death Every Minute in India Due to Road Accident
With more than one death and four injuries every minute, India has the dubious distinction of reporting highest number of road fatalities in the world and the government says the prime reason is "drivers' fault". "During the year 2009, there were around 490,000 road accidents, which resulted in the deaths of 125,660 people and injured more than five hundred thousand persons in India.... Driver's fault is the prime reason," A.K. Upadhyaya, Secretary, Road Transport and Highways, said Thursday.

The official number of deaths increased in 2010 to 130,000. The proportion of injuries to deaths remained unchanged at 4:1.

Deaths in road accidents in the country are the highest despite the fact that its population is much less than neighbouring China and more vehicles ply on US roads than India.

Road traffic injuries were the ninth leading cause of deaths in 2004 and at the current rates, the ministry said, it would be the fifth leading cause of death overtaking diabetes and HIV/AIDS by 2030.

"The loss to the Indian economy due to fatalities and accident injuries is estimated at 3 per cent of GDP," it said.

On top of that, more than 52 per cent of road victims are in the age group of 25-65 years.

Pedestrians, bicycle and two wheelers account for around 39 per cent of the fatalities.

"While developed countries through well planned road safety have succeeded in bringing down their accident rates, on the other hand India's accident rate and fatalities are showing an increasing trend which is a matter of concern," the ministry said.

[goes on to describe government's slow efforts to respond.]
By: Manorama, South Asia Mail