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Case Title:

Automobile Safety: Japanese Manufacturers Lead the Way

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: H. Ramaseshan, Souvik Dhar

Industry: Automobiles


Case Code: OPM0010

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Road accidents are resulting in increasing number of injuries and deaths every year globally. Realising the magnitude of the problem, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2004, classified 'road traffic injuries' as a public health concern. The world over, governments in association with the automobile industry players are taking a slew of measures to ensure vehicle as well as pedestrian safety. Though the US and the European automobile manufacturers had initially installed some safety devices in the vehicles and had invested heavily in safety research, the Japanese auto manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan have stolen a march over them by commercializing safety-related features in their automobiles. With state-of-the-art technology like GPS, adaptive cruise control, conversational speech interface etc., the Japanese manufacturers have clearly taken a lead over other automobile manufacturers. However, there are certain issues such as cost-efficacy and affordability of the safety devices that still need to be addressed.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the magnitude of the worldwide problem of deaths and injuries caused due to road accidents
  • To discuss the initiatives taken by various governments and automobile manufacturers in ensuring vehicle and pedestrian safety
  • To discuss the new safety initiatives of the Japanese automobile industry
  • To debate upon the cost-efficacy and the possible legal repercussions of the safety initiatives.

Keywords : Automobile safety designing; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP); The Haddon Matrix; Intelligent Transport System (ITS); Competitive Strategies Case Study; Advanced safety vehicle (ASV); Emergency response system; Adaptive cruise control; Active safety technology; Automated highway system (AHS); Global positioning system (GPS); Vehicle dynamics integrated management (VDIM) System; Total human model for safety (THUMS); Nissan safety shield; Mazda's smart safety technologies


  • Automobile Safety – An Overview
  • Japanese Auto Industry – The New Safety Initiatives
  • Swissair's business strategy
  • Honda

  • Toyota
  • Nissan
  • Mazda
  • Unresolved Issues

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