Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Bajaj Auto, India's second largest bike maker, finally unveiled its first four-wheeler, a low-emission car - RE 60 on the eve of the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi. The company, which had in 2008 showcased a concept small car but decided not to go ahead with the project.  High fuel efficiency and lower emissions are the key factors on which the company is banking on to make its foray into the car segment a success. The company expects a big growth opportunity by targeting the three wheeler segment.  The RE 60, according to Bajaj has high fuel-efficiency ratios. Bajaj claims that this vehicle has hit 40kmpl under test conditions and a realistic mileage in daily driving conditions should be above 35kmpl. The 200cc rear-mounted engine's emissions will be an incredible 60g of CO2 per km.
The RE 60 has body coloured bumpers and funky wheels. The interiors get a central speedometer cluster, folding front windows, 44-litre boot space, 95-litre under seat storage and prominent seatbelts in cabin. This four-wheeler gets a digital twin spark tech engine. It is also available in fuel injected CNG variant. Slated to be launched this year, its engine is a new water-cooled DTSi 4 (Digital Twin Spark Ignition) and able to accelerate to a maximum speed of 70km per hour. The small car can accommodate four people. Though Bajaj has not yet revealed the prices for the RE 60, it is believed to be a ultra-low cost car and will compete with the Tata Nano, currently the cheapest car in the world.  Bajaj has been working with Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA on a project to develop an ultra low-cost mini car. The Bajaj RE60 will be manufactured in Aurangabad. As per an agreement with the Renault-Nissan alliance, BAL was supposed to develop and manufacture the vehicle and sold under the badge of the alliance.
The ultra low-cost car was first scheduled to hit the roads in India in 2011, but was delayed due to differences between the partners on pricing and design. While Renault-Nissan wanted to price the car at around $2,500, Bajaj insisted on lowering the overall cost of ownership. In 2010, Renault-Nissan announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Bajaj Auto to take forward their ULC car project. As per the MoU, design, engineering, manufacturing and supply base expertise for the ULC would be executed by Bajaj with the support of the alliance, while branding, marketing and selling will be by Renault-Nissan. "They have not seen the product yet. They have seen only on virtual media. They will see it in Auto-Expo. If they are disinterested in the four wheeler they are free to walk away," Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto, said. "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," Bajaj added. Bajaj Auto on Tuesday, 3rd December,2011, unveiled a mini four wheeler for intra-city urban transportation targeting three wheeler customers. The company, which had in 2008 showcased a concept small car but decided not to go ahead with the project
"Certainly, this is a product, the core customer for which are those who use a three wheeler," Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj told  He said the RE60, powered by a 200 cc rear mounted petrol engine could also be sold in overseas markets where BAL's three wheelers are exported. Bajaj said the company had spent nearly four years in developing the product that has a top speed of 70 kmph with a highest mileage of 35kmpl."This vehicle has been designed for intra-city passenger transport keeping in mind intra-city duty cycles and safety requirements," he added.Commenting on the potential of the vehicle, he said the company expects a big growth opportunity by targeting the three wheeler segment.Bajaj, however, did not share sales targets for the new product but said opportunities are not only in the domestic market but overseas as well.
Bajaj Auto – the world’s largest manufacturer of three-wheelers, is all set to revolutionize the mass transportation in the country with the introduction of its new four wheeled vehicle-RE60.
 Developed in house, this new 4 wheeler is going to set a global benchmark in CO2 emissions – an unbelievable 60 gm/km – and deliver an amazing mileage of 35 kmpl. Over the past many years, the need for greener automobiles has invariably been echoed with a call for more time for technology development, more subsidies for sales and more investment in infrastructure. “At Bajaj Auto, we believe the people of this planet deserve much better, much faster” says, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto.“We, therefore, decided to focus our efforts on developing vehicles powered by engines using available natural resources and infrastructure.“We are very excited with the outcome of our efforts and, in the RE60; we believe we have an excellent solution for the mobility challenges arising from the rapid urbanization of India.”He further added, “In the RE 60 we have an immediate solution to pollution that doesn’t need new infrastructure, huge subsidies or time”.The key technological and design innovations of the RE 60 that have resulted in the amazing emission and mileage figures are: A light weight yet robust monocoque Metal-polymer hybrid structure Water cooled DTSi 4 valve engine with a closed loop fuel injection system for  high performance and amazing fuel efficiency.
·  Minimizing frictional and transmission losses. Mr. Rajiv Bajaj stressed “We are presenting an optimized solution for intra-city passenger transport. This vehicle has been designed for intra-city use keeping in mind the intra-city duty cycles and safety requirements.”Mr. R.C.Maheshwari, President, Commercial Vehicles, Bajaj Auto Ltd. Said “The vehicle presents a small, simple solution to combat pollution and inflation. It does not need investments in infrastructure, does not need subsidies and does not need time”He added “It retains a small footprint – nearly the same as our Autorickshaw, is highly maneuverable and can keep pace with the moving traffic. At the same its limited top speed makes it intrinsically safer for pedestrians, cyclists and two wheeler riders”.“Front and rear seat belts, doors and hard top are its other features” “Not only are the CO2 emissions remarkably low, its CO, HC and NOx emissions also are much lower than the Euro IV norms for cars less than 2,500 kgs”.He said “Our RE brand has, for years, stood for affordable transportation for its passengers and instant livelihood for its owners. Values that have made it the world’s number 1 brand in its category. RE 60 will continue with this tradition.” 

                                      Prof. John Kurakar

No comments: