Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto has unveiled an ultra low-cost car, its first foray into the four-wheel market.
Bajaj Auto is known for its two wheelers and three-wheelers. The company is making a four-wheeler for the first time.
Bajaj Auto, a listed two-wheeler and three-wheeler company, announced the launch of RE 60, an ultra-low cost car. The company claims that the car would have a mileage of close to 40 km per liter and will have a 200 cc engine.
The car will be launched in 2012. However, the car might be exported first before it is available here in India.
“We could launch the four wheeler first in Sri Lanka,” said Bajaj.
The engine is a new water cooled DTSi (Digital Twin Spark Ignition) 4 valve and would give a maximum speed of 70km per hour.
The car has a seating capacity of four people. It has been designed and developed fully by Bajaj Auto and not with Renault or Nissan Motors.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD at Bajaj Auto, made the announcement and said that the engine for the car is state-of-the-art and environment friendly. It is frugally engineered, he added.
“RE 60 will be produced at three-wheeler plant in Aurangabad,” Bajaj said, adding that it will be ready for production in the coming months.
He was speaking at a press conference in New Delhi on the eve of Auto Expo 2012, the biggest auto show in India. "We have developed a four wheel vehicle with mileage of nearly 40 km / litre. The car emits carbon dioxide of just 60 gm per km," he told reporters.
Bajaj Auto is known for its two wheelers and three-wheelers.
The company is making a four-wheeler for the first time.
However, the company could sell the car to Renault or Nissan Motors with minor modifications if they wish.
“We are free to brand our own four wheeler and sell it anywhere in the world,” Rajiv Bajaj said.
Tata Nano is currently the cheapest car in the world. Bajaj Auto has not disclosed the pricing.
Bajaj Auto shares were trading flat after slumping 8 per cent in trade on Monday. The December 2011 sales data was below expectation.
Rajiv Bajaj said that Bajaj Auto would end the current fiscal with exports of Rs 6,500 crore representing nearly 1.6 million vehicles. He also said that it is extremely rare to find a car company with profit of over 10 per cent.
“We are Apple kind of company. We believe in making niche products; we are an 'anti car' company. We are 2, 3 and 4 wheeler company and in this space, our investment can't be anywhere near a car company, investment closer to what one would invest as 2 or 3 wheeler maker,” said the Bajaj honcho.