Renault-Nissan may pull out of Bajajs ULC car project

Friday 10 February 2012, 11:16 AM by

The long-awaited tie up between Renault-Nissan and Bajaj regarding the Ultra Low Cost (ULC) car project seems to be doubtful now. A few years back Nissan and Renault India had showed immense interest in Bajaj’s ULC car plan. However, the firm seems not much impressed by what it saw at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo in January.

Bajaj RE60, the ULC model by Bajaj, was unveiled last month but it did not seem to make an impact on Renault-Nissan as the firm has not yet responded to the two-wheeler maker regarding it. The Franco-Japanese alliance was hoping for a budget passenger vehicle that would give competition to Tata Nano in the sub-small car segment. However, Bajaj presented RE60 as a commuter transport medium, an alternative to auto rickshaws.

A few months back, Bajaj’s RE60 was hot news in the domestic auto industry. It was believed that the car will be competing against Tata Nano, which had steadily been gaining traction in the market since its launch. However, Bajaj later announced that RE60 will be an upgraded form of auto rickshaws rather than a passenger car. However, the company is still propositioning the RE 60 as a family car to Renault-Nissan. Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the alliance, had said it will buy Bajaj's product if it was in line with the quality of development followed by Nissan and Renault.

Incorporated with a 200 cc water cooled DTSi engine that is placed at the rear, Bajaj RE60 is slightly bigger than a three-wheeler. The company will be offering RE60 in two variants, namely commercial and deluxe, which will generate maximum power of 19 hp. Owing to such an engine configuration, the vehicle is likely to deliver mileage of 35 kmpl and low carbon emission of 60 g/km. The price of Bajaj RE60 is expected to be around Rs 1.25 lacs.

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