RE60, the Ultra Low Cost passenger car by Bajaj
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Bajaj Auto India, the premier manufacturer of motorcycles and auto rickshaws in India, is introducing its first four-wheeler passenger car. Bajaj RE60 is an Ultra Low Cost (ULC) vehicle that is being manufactured by the two-wheeler giant in alliance with Renault, the French automaker. The entry of the Indian two-wheeler major into 4 wheeler segment had created headlines in the past. Bajaj Auto is responsible for developing the model whereas Renault Nissan will market and sell it.
The company presented the concept of this ULC at the Auto Expo 2008 and saw many setbacks thereafter. Earlier, rumours had emerged that the alliance was heading towards a split, though things are back on track now and Bajaj is ready with the car. The Managing Director of Renault India, Marc Nassif, said that the company will review the product before making any other proceedings regarding the project.
RE60 is more rickshaw-like than car-like and will be used for commercial applications. The car will be powered by an 800 cc engine with a top speed of 65 kmph, which is impressive for a commercial vehicle. It will face tough competition with Tata Nano, Hyundai Eon and Maruti Alto. The officials said that it would be priced costlier than Tata Nano but will be a value-for-money vehicle in terms of mileage, quality, fit and finish.
An executive from Bajaj Auto said, “The car’s model is already complete. However, the company has got the final nod from its other partners, Nissan and Renault, which have approved the design. Earlier the car was supposed to be cheaper than the Nano. However, other partners (Renault-Nissan) said that there should be no compromise on quality even if it means pricing it higher.”
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