New vehicle safety standards will halt sales of several models in Mexico
New Mexican safety standards calling for a halt to sales of vehicles without airbags, ABS brakes and other safety equipment will bring an end to marketing of the Tsuru, along with certain Aveo, Matiz, Tiida, and Gol models starting in 2019.
Among the security systems that automobile manufacturers must incorporate in the vehicles sold in Mexico are airbags, ABS brakes, headrests on the seats, seat belts, turn signals, brake light and defogging system. They are devices that in the United States, main export destination of the vehicles made in Mexico, have been required since 30 years ago.
Guido Vildozo, auto analyst at IHS consultancy, believes that the greatest impact will be for those models, such as the Nissan Tsuru or the Chevrolet Matiz, which were developed over 30 years ago under regulatory parameters that are already obsolete in most countries. Therefore, they would require a complete makeover to comply with new regulation redesign.
Nissan, for example, plans to stop selling the Tsuru model in Mexico. “The Tsuru won’t come with airbags. It doesn’t have the structure for that. It’s impossible. That will not happen. What will happen at some point is that the Tsuru will have to leave. We are preparing something for the future.” said Airton Cousseau, president and CEO of Nissan in Mexico.
The impact will be less for models like the Chevrolet Aveo or the Volkswagen Gol, which were designed to comply with the international regulations, and therefore offered in Mexico with airbags and ABS brakes, in some versions.
In the distribution of General Motors and Volkswagen, for exmple, marketers give customers the ability to include these devices for 15,000 additional pesos ($833 USD). The most equiped versions of these models do come with these safety systems from the factory, and other items like electric windows and aluminum wheels.
The Ministry of Economy gave automakers three years to adapt their processes. Stephan Brodziak, Vehicle Safety coordinator of the Customer Power organization, said that this time will serve assemblers to find models to replace those that will leave the market or to start to take out the stock of models that do not have the technology.
General Motors has already cut 5% of the price of the most basic version of the Aveo, which doesn’t have airbags or antilock brakes. In March, the LS version costi 157,600 pesos ($8,722 USD), while in April it was already at 149,900 pesos ($8,327 USD), according to the price lists of the assembly.