A Developing Business Case Study – Bajaj Quadricycle

Bajaj Quadricycle: The quest for 4 wheel supremacy

Bajaj auto, the venerable 2 wheeler / 3 wheeler giant, unveiled in January 2012 an inexpensive, rear-engined, four-passenger quadricycle – RE 60. It was the first four-wheeler manufactured by Bajaj Auto, which was initially perceived to be a challenge to the positioning of Tata Nano in India but eventually it became the bone of contention of the industry as a whole where Bajaj was pitted against everybody else with the government as the automatic arbitrator. In a unique turn of events, car manufacturers like Tata and Maruti expressed their unwillingness to accept the new vehicle / category providing reasons as diverse as concerns about the safety of the vehicle to unfairness to the competition. Bajaj, being Bajaj, didn’t budge from their position, however solitary and hopeless it looked. On 22nd May 2013, the Federal Government legally classified it as a quadricycle to be used for commercial purposes to possibly replace Auto rickshaws. Still car manufacturers were not happy with the outcome and the vitriol continues in the public forum. Let’s take a look at what and how of this unique product.

Origin

In 2010, Bajaj Auto announced the cooperation with Renault and Nissan Motor to develop a US$ 2,500 4-wheeler, aiming at a fuel-efficiency of 30 kmpl and carbon dioxide emissions of 100 g/km. It was widely believed that Bajaj is going to launch a compact car, much alike Nano, although every interview given to the media from Bajaj, denied this assertion.

Bajaj Auto first unveiled the Bajaj RE60 on 3 January 2012, at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi. At its unveiling, the company announced that the car had high fuel efficiency of 35 kmpl and low CO2 emissions. However confirming to its stance, the 4-wheeler came with a fare meter included in the base model’s dashboard, as the firm targeted auto-rickshaw drivers by offering a four wheeler as economical to run as a three wheeler, but safer and more comfortable.

It was equipped with rear-mounted 200 cc petrol engine, delivering 15-20 hp of power, weighing 400 kg and has an overall length of 2752 mm, width 1,312 mm and height 1,650 mm. The top speed of the vehicle is 70 km /h which is not much different from the auto rickshaws available now. It is expected to be priced around INR 1.5 Lacs

The vehicle could be adapted for other fuels – CG / LPG

Bajaj sells about 5 lakh 3-wheelers in an year of which India sales account for about 2 lakhs

Bajaj has invested Rs.550 crore in developing the platform and creating the capacity to produce 5,000 vehicles every month.

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