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An Area Crying Out for Improvement

THE GENERAL ELECTION IS  OVER AND THE BHARATIYA JANATA Party has come back to power with a thumping majority. Now they need to set the economy right, because if it is not done in right earnest, a lot of manufacturers will be in deep trouble. Besides, a number of people will lose their jobs if corrective measures are not taken on a war footing.

Last month Indian motor sport suffered another big loss with the demise of Nazir Hoosein. He put India on the global map of motor sport by organizing the Himalayan Rally. In a way, he was also responsible for launching my racing career. My very first race was the Juhu all-India motor race meet in 1977, organized by IARC , Nazir’s motor sport club. May his soul rest in peace.

One area where car manufacturers need to improve (and, in some cases, drastically so) is in both the design and quality of the interior. We are sure that a certain Japanese entry-level sedan would have been a much greater success if it had a significantly better dashboard layout. Apart from the quality of material used, the layout is also very important from the safety point of view. Anything that distracts the driver is a big ‘no-no’. All dashboard controls should allow the driver to keep his eyes on the road. Some information systems involve touchscreens. In the Indian context, hit a bump and you end up pressing the wrong button! Finding the right button may lead to inevitable distraction with all its fearful implications. The worst happens when you have to go through two to three screens of a menu before you reach the right one.

Surely, our manufacturers can do better in this area.


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