Carmaker: India merits special horns

Confirming what many who have been stuck in the legendary traffic jams of India have long suspected, at least one German carmaker revealed recently that it makes special horns for cars destined for the Asian subcontinent.

“Obviously for India, the horn is a category in itself,” Michael Perschke, director at Audi India, told Monday’s Mint newspaper.

“You take a European horn and it will be gone in a week or two,” he added. “With the amount of honking in Mumbai, we do on a daily basis what an average German does on an annual basis.”

Perschke said the horns are specially adapted for driving conditions in India, a booming market where Audi is one of many foreign car brands competing for increasingly wealthy customers, Agence France-Presse reported.

“The horn is tested differently – with two continuous weeks only of honking, the setting of the horn is different, with different suppliers,” he said.

Roads in India are often in poor repair, ranging from pot-holed major highways to dirt tracks in cities, while bullock carts, cows, rickshaws and bicycles often compete with cars and trucks for space.

Another reason for the heavy congestion and need for car horns is the fact that India’s roads are notoriously dangerous.

Nearly 134,000 people died on India’s roads in 2010, according to the National Crime Records Bureau – a rate of 366 deaths a day, according to Agence France-Presse.

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