Hyundai is calling on Africa and Middle East governments to support local or regional New Car Assessment Programmes (NCAP), with consumers currently comparing results from Europe or the US when making buying decisions. The company’s head of operations for Africa and the Middle East, Mike Song, says consumers increasingly consider NCAP ratings when choosing a new car. However, he warns that buyers can be misled if they live outside the market where testing takes place. "NCAP stars are like horsepower or fuel economy — they are a scientific measurement that people can use to compare models," says Song.

"That has transformed crash protection into a deciding factor for many buyers. The problem is NCAP tests are market-specific, so that EuroNCAP tests, for example, only relate to EU-specification cars. The same model, as sold in a different market, may not get the same result." While the basic structure of a vehicle will usually remain consistent worldwide, many safety features are...

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