“We are looking at the customers who currently operate three-wheelers to shift to this four-wheeler low emission segment,” Rajiv Bajaj, company managing director, said introducing the vehicle, which is the first low-cost, four-wheeler commercial passenger carrier in the country.
“This is not a car but a four-wheeler vehicle, which is a new segment in its own right. We have put in a lot of technology and features which are not in three-wheelers or even cars,” he told reporters.
The company did not disclose the price at which the vehicle would be launched, but said it would hit the showrooms in a few months.
It will come in three fuel variants — petrol, CNG and LNG.
According to Bajaj, the four-wheeler holds a lot of potential in the Indian as well as the European, African and Asian markets.
It had taken four years for the company to develop the vehicle, Bajaj said, without revealing the cost of production.
“My competitors would love to know that (cost). But I can just say that just by going through our existing facility, we have been able to save Rs.350 crore.”
“This is a light weight vehicle which has primary position of a commercial passenger carrier, but it can be used as a personal passenger carrier, as well,” R.C. Maheshwary, president, commercial vehicle business, Bajaj Auto, told IANS.
The vehicle travelled 40 km per litre under test conditions and the company said under realistic driving conditions it could deliver 35 km per litre.
On possible participation of Renault-Nissan in the RE60 project, Bajaj said: “They have not seen the physical product as yet, only the one on the virtual media. They will see it at the Auto-Expo 2012 after which we are expected to meet.”
In 2010, both sides had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the ultra-low cost (ULC) project in which Bajaj was supposed to have developed the vehicle but marketed through Renault-Nissan.
Bajaj also said the company manufactured half-a-million three-wheelers, a majority of which are exported.