Rajiv Bajaj is firing on all cylinders these days. The head honcho of Bajaj Auto Limited is very enthusiastic about his latest project the Bajaj RE60, India’s first quadricycle. According to sources at Bajaj Auto, the strategy that has been chosen is to market the RE60 not s a car but as a safer and more stable alternative to the humble 3 wheeler autorickshaw. Although the RE60 is technically a quadricycle and is classified in a different category altogether by the Government, it is seen as a logical entry point for those seeking an affordable & alternative option to buying a car. Bajaj Auto is trying to capitalize on just that and hence has decided not to market the RE60 as a car.
AutoColumn readers might recall the previous stories we have carried regarding the quadricycle and the controversy it had sparked off with car manufacturers vehemently criticizing the product and citing glaring safety issues. Rajiv Bajaj has been very vocal about the fact that the Bajaj RE60 should not be seen as either a car or an autorickshaw specifying that the Government has classified it differently. As the largest three wheeler rickshaw manufacturer in the world and the second largest motorcycle maker in India, Bajaj has also been feeling the pinch with sliding sales & low demand for products both at home and also overseas. The Bajaj RE60 quadricycle may well be the ace up Bajaj’s sleeve that might help it to boost profit margins and break into new territory.
As a better replacement for the rickshaw, the Bajaj RE60 is a logical choice in all cities and locations where a market currently exists for the rickshaw. To that effect, Bajaj has also been testing the waters by sending out test mules in such markets & studying market feasibility for the product. As it is, it is primarily being positioned as a city runner & will offer better stability & safety than an ordinary rickshaw since it offers seatbelts, a rigid enclosed body shell and a hardtop along with other features. The lightweight 400 kg product is also lighter than a conventional entry level hatchback. Add to that a top whack of around 70kmph and a small lightweight engine and you’ve got the perfect city runabout.
AutoColumn is also eager to see how the market shapes up & what offerings are brought in by the other competitors with products being sold in the near future. Keep watching this space for more and remember, you read it right here on AutoColumn.