Bajaj RE 60, the much discussed ultra low cost car has been finally unveiled ahead of 11th New Delhi Auto Expo. But according to Rajiv Bajaj, the top honcho of Bajaj Auto RE 60 is not a car but just a four wheeler. Bajaj RE 60 is company’s maiden product in four wheel category and which is (according to company) going to redefine city commuting. Bajaj RE 60 is powered by a 200cc fuel injected DTS-i engine which produces a maximum power of 16 PS. There are two variants (a passenger variant and a cargo variant) of RE 60 on offer and company has not yet announced the prices of RE 60. But we expect the base variant will carry a price tag of less than one lakh.
Bajaj RE 60 boasts 35 km/liter fuel efficiency and emits just 60gm/km which looks ultra eco friendly. The top speed of Bajaj RE 60 which weighs 400 kg is limited to 70 kph. Bajaj Auto will be producing RE 60 in their Aurangabad plant. The same plant rolls out Bajaj Auto’s three wheelers as well. By sharing manufacturing facility with three wheelers, Bajaj RE 60 managed to save 350 Cr for the company. Bajaj will produce almost all components of RE 60 in house. A CNG powered Bajaj RE 60 is also available.
The concept of Bajaj RE 60 sports a set of body colored bumpers and stylish alloy wheels. The dashboard houses a central speedometer cluster, in-built fare meter (similar to auto rickshaws) and seat belts. Bajaj RE 60 has 44-liter boot space and 95-liter under seat storage which could be sufficient for city commuters.
“Last century was scooters, this century was motorcycle. We have made a remarkable transition from a scooter to a motorcycle company. We’ve gone from selling cheapest scooters in the country to some of the most expensive motorcycles. For the last 8-9 quarters, Bajaj Auto has been the world’s most profitable auto company. There has been valid criticism that Bajaj has not done justice to its 3 wheeler business even though we are largest in world. We have been urged to do something dramatic for the 3 wheeler business, as dramatic as the transformation from Chetak to Pulsar. These are a host of features that are not normal for this segment just like when we launched Pulsar. It’s a testimony to our engineering,” said Rajiv Bajaj, M.D of Bajaj Auto during the launch ceremony.
So who would be the targeted customer..? Nano buyers? we doubt. Bajaj RE 60 comes nowhere near to Tata Nano in many aspects. Be it overall design, styling, build quality or engineering. Probably Bajaj RE 60 may soon eat some market share of three wheelers which is again ruled by Bajaj Auto. We think it is a sensible alternative for auto rickshaws. RE 60 will definitely give improved commuter comfort by protecting them from weather.
By the way another candidate is expected in this segment is from Piaggio. Piaggio MT3 was made it’s debut last year in Italy and is expected to hit India in 2-3 years down the line.
Anyways an interesting development to watch. Stay tuned..