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FEATURES/Auto Expo 2012 | Jan 3, 2012 | 20381 views

Bajaj RE60 - Is It A car?

An anti-car guy makes a four wheeler. You can buy it if you want one. But then you are not Bajajís core customer

mg_63244_bajaj_re_280x210.jpg
Image: Amit Verma


No. It’s not. Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto would like you to believe that the RE 60 is a four-wheeler but not a car. RE stands for Rear Engine, a term used commonly for Bajaj’s three wheelers. It, of course, has a steering wheel, four doors, four wheels, headlights, tail lights, seat belts and seating capacity for four. An additional feature though is the three-wheeler (auto rickshaw) meter. In the words of Bajaj, “This is a vehicle for all the people who use a three-wheeler almost everyday. It is a four-wheeler which is a dramatic improvement on the three wheeler.”

His core market then is the auto rickshaw segment. Bajaj hopes that state after state will gradually replace the 5 million auto rickshaws plying in the country. “We are the world’s largest three-wheeler manufacturer. [Management guru] Jack Trout told us something; the leader should do more. It is only right. He urged us to do something dramatic with the three-wheeler, like we did with the Bajaj Chetak to [come up with] the Pulsar.”

The RE 60 will go on sale later this year which is when the price will be announced. Let’s not talk about looks right now, because that’s subjective. But it looked a lot like the Reva.

The RE 60 is Bajaj’s answer to the green brigade. The company’s corporate presentation to explain the vehicle concept showed an unhappy bird pained by pollution looking for answers. It found faults with the electric car and thought that a hybrid was too expensive. It finally found joy in the RE 60. Based on Bajaj Auto’s claims, this vehicle comes across as clean and efficient. It has the lowest CO2 emissions in the world and a mileage of 35 kmpl. It will also have a CNG variant.

It is interesting to see the kind of cost savings Bajaj has been able to achieve. The RE 60 will be manufactured at Bajaj’s three-wheeler plant in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Bajaj now manufactures about 45,000 three wheelers per month. The RE 60 will share the line with the three-wheeler, and production capacity will be expanded. “That alone is savings of about Rs. 350 crore,” says Bajaj. While he declined to share the total cost of investment, he believes the RE 60 will maintain the group’s mantra of returning a 20 percent margin.

The RE 60 will be exported to almost all markets where Bajaj currently sells its three wheelers. So that would be Asia, Africa and Latin America. Exports begin with Sri Lanka where Bajaj sells 10, 000 three-wheelers a month.

How about Bajaj’s partners? Renault and Nissan. Bajaj said that about a month back, Renault and Nissan saw the vehicle in a web presentation. “This is a platform which has been totally designed and developed by Bajaj in Pune. I have always said that it is a four-wheel platform and not a car. At no point was Bajaj being a contract manufacturer of someone. With small or big modifications, we are ready to supply the platform to Renault-Nissan if they so wish,” added Mr. Bajaj.

What about competition from the Tata Nano? Bajaj couldn’t resist a dig at Tata Motors. “I am not sure if the Nano is the cheapest car or god’s gift to two wheelers but thankfully the RE 60 has a clear position.”

Will the RE 60 become a goods carrier? In the sense, let’s say a light commercial vehicle? Nope. Mr. Bajaj said the company doesn’t want to get into moving goods because it is not what they do. Bajaj is happy moving people around. This was backed by an interesting logic shared by the man that is worth mentioning. He said Tata Motors is a truck company. So when a big truck company makes a little truck, people are happy to buy it. “I am not sure if people want a want a small car from a truck company.” I don’t know if that will go down too well!

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RE 60 at a glance:
Engine: 200cc water cooled, 4 valve DTS-i
Weight: 400 kgs (almost half that of A segment small cars)
Power: About 20 hp (power to weight ratio is good so it should be peppy)
CO2 Emissions: 60gms/km (one of the most efficient in the world)
Mileage: 35 km/liter (claimed by Bajaj in normal riding condition)
Maximum speed: 70 kmph
Turning circle radius: 3.5 meters
Looks: Very similar to the Reva
Seating capacity: 2+2

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Comments (24)
Santosh Pathak May 24, 2013
nice design, price is not declaired
Sambit Chakraborty May 17, 2013
Surprisingly the Bajaj RE60 could actually be ahead of it's time. Coming from Bajaj who are not perceived as R
Haindav Mar 31, 2012
i am dealer for bajaj and i have an master plan
Kamalkantbhatia Jan 9, 2012
It's a 3 wheeler convert into four wheeler?
Response to Kamalkantbhatia:
Ashish K Mishra Jan 9, 2012
Kamalkantbhatia, the answer to your question is - No.
Bhashin Jan 8, 2012
i didn't get any info regarding gears system....
Response to Bhashin:
Ashish K. Mishra Jan 9, 2012
Bhasin, the gear shift will be a manual.
Haranath Bandaru Jan 7, 2012
very usefull to middle class people and also required in LPG model.
Lokesh Mishra Jan 7, 2012
nice re 60 thx mr. bajaj
Sanjay Kataria Jan 7, 2012
Time is moving towards solar energy or other sorces of cheaper source of energy not towards petrol or Diesel. After spending 4 year of time Bajaj has develoved very normal traditional Vehicle and the price is also very high. It has very normal look in other word Bajaj Auto has modernise the Auto Rikshaw or Tempo Rikshaw.
Mishra Shushil Jan 6, 2012
Tutu Dhawan jaise log paise lekar kisi bhi co. ki car ko achha bata dete hai. Its a nice car.
Bhudev Sharma Jan 6, 2012
nice
Pasricha Manpreet Jan 6, 2012
Wow! u can compare with mini car as far outer look . Good for teens.
V Srinivasaraju Jan 6, 2012
Surely this car would target the segment of BPL as well as the middle class. Leave alone the employees. however does the car gets a feasibility of diesel version/Gas version. If gas version would be made possible than this would be a revolutionary invention in the present era.
Biju Peter Jan 6, 2012
Congratulation .... very good attemt by the company
Ashok Kumar Jan 6, 2012
We like Small car, We like to buy This car. How we get, Where contact for Booking in Delhi?
Iqbal Cm Jan 6, 2012
Congratulations for the good attempt
Krishna Jan 6, 2012
The comment "I am not sure if people want a want a small car from a truck company", I feel is completely unwarranted. How can he dubb Tata motors (which makes very good passenger cars such as Indica, sedan such as Tata Manza, and a highway luxury such as Tata Safari, Aria and own marque's such as Jaguar and Land Rover) as Truck company. He is no person to make such comments. Tata Motors has come a long way as a automotive company and Bajaj had only a couple of products chetak, which is an outdated product and Pulsar, the only successful bike and ofcourse extremely pollutant auto rickshaws. It sounds "Jealous" to me, more than anything else.
Response to Krishna:
Wilson Jan 6, 2012
True
Response to Krishna:
Hemant Jan 7, 2012
I fully agree with you.
K Nandakumaran Jan 4, 2012
Congratulations for the good attempt,When r u launching at Cochin? give details of the other version if any.
Praveen Jan 3, 2012
waiting to see it on mumbai chalu roads...ha ha ha
Mohd. Danish Khan Jan 3, 2012
COMBINATON OF SKILLS....
Amar Mudliar Jan 3, 2012
Is it a fiber body or steel, and does it have a ac
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