India’s airbag manufacturing capacity is expected to grow 64 per cent on an annual basis to hit 37.2 million in the next financial year on the back of the government’s drive to make passenger and commercial vehicles safe for driving.

“As per information available with the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the current airbag manufacturing capacity in the country is 22.7 million and estimated increase in production for next year is 37.2 million,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

The Minister informed the Upper House that the government has notified the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for automobile and automobile components, which also provides incentives for airbags applications such as inflator, airbag electronic control unit and sensor

On manufacturing cost of airbags, Gadkari said the fixed cost of an airbag is a function of volume of the vehicle model produced and shall be determined by market forces. However, the approximate variable cost for 4 airbags (2 side air bags and 2 curtain airbags) is estimated to be around ₹6,000.

Six airbags

In January 2022, the Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had proposed that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/ side torso airbags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions. The move is aimed at enhancing safety for the vehicle’s occupants, the Minister said.

After considering the comments received from stakeholders, the Ministry has proposed to revise the date of implementation to October 1, 2023, he added.