Bajaj Auto on January 3, 2012 presented a small four-wheeler in New Delhi. Bajaj RE60 is a low-cost car to hit the roads by middle of this year 2012. Bajaj expects that RE60 will attract three-wheeler customers, as a good alternative.
Bajaj Auto in 2008 Auto Expo had showcased its low-cost small concept car which was postponed then. After four years, the product is at hand called Bajaj RE60. The manufacturing of RE60 will be furnished at Bajaj Auto’s Aurangabad factory. Bajaj claims RE60 to be one of the most fuel-efficient and nature friendly cars. RE60 is claimed to deliver up to 40 KMPL and emit only 60 g/km of CO2.
The final market price of the vehicle was not discloses by the company.
The RE60 is designed as a commercial passenger vehicle as an alternative to autorickshaws. It is far better in comfort and safety as compared to an autorickshaw.
The RE60 is designed to accommodate four persons including the driver. RE60 has 200cc, water-cooled, fuel-injected DTSi engine. The engine will consume approximately 20 PS of power. Weight of RE60 is only 400 Kg. So, its power to weight ratio is comparable to A-segment cars in India. The engine is fixed at the back of the vehicle. So, boot space is constrained to only 44 litres. The base model has dashboard equipped with an integrated digital fare meter.
Rajiv Bajaj on RE60
Managing Director of Bajaj Auto Ltd. (BAL), Rajiv Bajaj confronted reporters at hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi. He said :
It is not a car. It’s a four wheeler. Certainly, this is a product, the core customer for which are those who use a three wheeler. RE60, powered by a 200 cc rear mounted petrol engine could also be sold in overseas markets where BAL’s three wheelers are exported. The company had spent nearly four years in developing the product that has a top speed of 70 kmph with a highest mileage of 35 KMPL. This vehicle has been designed for intra-city passenger transport keeping in mind intra-city duty cycles and safety requirements.
The company expects a big growth opportunity by targeting the three wheeler segment. We make about 5,20,000 three-wheelers a year of which only 2,00,000 are sold in India and rest exported. So we see markets like Sri Lanka, which could be the first export market has huge potential for RE60.
Association of Bajaj and Renault-Nissan for ULC
In January, 2008 BAL had showcased its low-cost concept car with a price-estimate of only USD 3000. It had collaborated with Renault-Nissan for its ULC (Ultra Low Cost) car project. Renault-Nissan in 2010, signed a memorandum of understanding with Bajaj Auto to finalize the ULC car project.
The ULC car was first planned to launched for sale in India in 2011, but was delayed due to disagreement between the partners regarding cost and design.