Bajaj had its moment under the sun a few days back when the Indian government handed over its nod to quadricycles, a new class of vehicles. The compulsory additions must be a hard top, as well as four doors.
We might be looking at a color code system or probably these vehicles will have a big “Q” plonked on them. Don’t expect them to go too fast, their top is limited to 70 kmph! Industry insiders also feel that these vehicles may need to undergo crash tests at a low speed of 30 kmph before they get an approval. (Definition of ‘Quadricycle)
Bajaj Auto has already pumped in around 550 crores into the project, not to leave behind the loads of expensive R&D time that has also been exhausted. They seem very upbeat about the new segment, and it seems that the RE60 is set to become their blue-eyed kid. It is expected to be priced at around a-lakh-and-a-half, marginally higher than Bajaj’s current crop of three-wheelers.
However, it is not all alone! Here’s a look at all the other fishes who may take a plunge into the Indian Quadricycle pond, sooner or later:
- POLARIS INDIA: – A major player in the quadricycle segment in Europe, they announced that they are definitely considering the move to introduce a few models. However, Pankaj Dubey, MD of Polaris Motors India, demanded more clarity in the government policy to help them in zeroing-in on the probable models for the stressed Indian market. Polaris’ quadricycles are popular as recreational vehicles in Europe.
- MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA :- Not willing to be denied their share of the quadricycle pie, they seem to be hurrying to put together a quadricycle from the blueprint level itself as none of their existing platforms can be rigged to act as public transport on our urban roads. Pawan Goenka, President of M & M’s automotive arm, is optimistic of the role of these quadricycles in making our transport system a whole lot safer.
- PIAGGIO :- Another accomplished biggie, they have crucial experience in the quadricycle segment. Way back in 2004, Piaggio along with TVS had attempted to introduce quadricycles in India but, unfortunately, were snubbed. Now, they seem all set to become a major player in this segment. Clearer details on their launch dates will be revealed by the company as soon as the government finalizes its policy. Piaggio India MD Ravi Chopra stressed upon the importance of a fair playing ground for all the manufacturers.
- TATA :- Tata Motors was a firm naysayer against the advent of the quadricycles, but now they might consider stepping into the market. Sources close to the company say that the platform of the Ace is a starting point, though there has been no official word as of now.
Do you think the days of our rickety tuc-tucs are over? So, will it be a final farewell to all those bone-shaking, teeth-gnashing rides?? More importantly, with many options expected to make way, is your ride from point A to point B going to get more luxurious?
Source: Economic Times