Bajaj Auto to launch four-wheel RE60, but it is not a car

It’s got four auto and seatbelts, but Bajaj Auto(BAJA.NS), the architect of India’s aboriginal quadricycle, would rather you didn’t alarm it a car. Bajaj Auto is business the RE60 as a added abiding and adequate another to the three-wheeled autorickshaws all-over on India’s anchorage alike admitting it looks like a baby auto car and is accepted to amount less.

Weight, top acceleration and added specifications, including assurance standards, beggarly the RE60 will not be classified as a car. But that didn’t stop admiral from top automakers such as Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) from comparing it to a car and award its assurance appearance appear up short.

Rajiv Bajaj, the company’s managing director, insists the RE60 is neither a car nor an autorickshaw. The government is alike creating a fresh allocation class for the vehicle, which is accepted to be launched aural months.

“In every bazaar that a three-wheeler is accessible the quadricycle should be relevant,” Bajaj told Reuters in a buzz interview.

“Because at the end of the day it provides a actual analytic advancement from a three-wheeler for bodies who appetite to pay a little added and appetite to accept the abundance and assurance of four wheels, four doors, a roof and seatbelts,” he said.

In India, autorickshaws about accept no doors and a bendable roof. The cartage are usually angry into taxis and accepted in abounding countries as tuk-tuks.

The RE60 is allotment of a abiding amplification action by Bajaj to addition sales advance at home and abroad.

The aggregation is the world’s more good autorickshaw maker and India’s additional more good motorcycle maker, and sales of both these cartage accept decelerated over the aftermost two years, hit by falling address in a slowing economy.

Bajaj’s three-wheeler sales fell 6 percent in the 2012/13 banking year compared to a 17 percent access in the antecedent year and a 28 percent acceleration in 2010/11.

Motorcycle sales additionally showed a agnate trend: they fell 2 percent in 2012/13 compared to a 13.2 percent accretion in 2011/12 and a 35 percent access a year earlier.

Exports of motorbikes and autorickshaws annual for added than a third of Bajaj’s sales. The aggregation counts Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (MAHM.NS), TVS Motor Aggregation Ltd (TVSM.NS) and Italy’s Piaggio (PIA.MI) as competitors in the three-wheeler segment.

SAFER, BUT NOT CHEAPER

The RE60 weighs 400 kilograms (880 pounds), about 100 kg added than Bajaj’s aboriginal autorickshaw and bisected as abundant as a baby hatchback. The engine, which can run on gasoline or aeroembolism accustomed gas, goes up to 70 kilometres per hour (about 40 afar per hour).

The agent is acceptable to be priced amid an autorickshaw and a baby car. Analysts apprehend the RE60 to amount 200,000 rupees, added than the almost 150,000 rupees for the best basal Bajaj three-wheeler but beneath than the 270,000 rupees for India’s bestselling car, the Maruti Alto hatchback.

Bajaj spent 5.5 billion rupees developing the vehicle, according to media reports. The aggregation can initially accomplish up to 5,000 cartage a ages and has been cat-and-mouse for two years to get them on India’s roads.

The federal government is accepted to acquiesce quadricycles from October 1.

Bajaj hopes the quadricycles will bolt on in countries area three-wheelers are widespread, and has beatific samples for analysis runs in Sri Lanka, Colombia and Kenya. Managing administrator Bajaj, however, beneath to accord any sales forecasts.

Analysts said quadricycles are acceptable to accept broader address than the autorickshaws.

“Specifically, in cities in the abutting three to four years it could alter the three-wheeler, primarily because it provides more good safety, as able-bodied as abundance as able-bodied as more good ammunition ability back compared to three-wheelers,” said Nitesh Sharma, an analyst with allowance Espirito Santo Securities.

SG22