Unlike its foreign competitors, Bajaj Auto recently announced that they plan to introduce a commercial four wheeler in the market by mid-2012. The car will be built on the company’s ultra-low cost vehicle platform.
The chairman of Bajaj Auto, Rahul Bajaj, said that they will introduce their ULC platform, four wheeler by mid-2012. This vehicle will serve the purposes of a goods carrier as well as a commercial vehicle. In the relatively small goods carrier segment, domestic auto companies like Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors have been performing quite well, and their company wants to target this very segment.
He added that their company is primarily a three wheeler and two wheeler manufacturer, however they plan on increasing their product portfolio to include four wheelers too. With the aid of their frugal engineering and expertise, coupled with the technology expertise of Renault-Nissan, they will soon introduce their four wheeler model.
The company also said that their foreign partner will help in marketing their car, however not as a low cost model. The car will then be sold at mutually settled price. Bajaj further said that the platform will be the same for all their four wheeler model. While for their partner Renault-Nissan, the model will be a car, for them the model is a commercial vehicle, however he refused to divulge whether both the products will debut together or not.
Bajaj also didn’t say whether a single model or two different ones would be launched. Renault differing strongly said that their company has not yet seen the end result and would not settle for a vehicle which had any shortcomings whatsoever.
A spokesperson for Renault said that they want to clarify that their company would be satisfied only if the product fulfilled all the necessities of a car. Anything short of this would not pass their stringent requirements. Renault will take a final decision only after it has done a complete evaluation of the end product shown by Bajaj. Till then, they can only speculate, a thing which they do not prefer to do.
The partners came together in 2009 for producing a small car which would be priced around $2,500. This ULC platform car was scheduled to release in India by 2011, however differences between the companies on grounds of design and pricing delayed its release. Though Renault-Nissan wanted the car to be priced $2,500, the Bajaj Auto Co. wanted it be priced lower. In the year 2010, Renault-Nissan had announced about signing the Memorandum of Agreement with the Indian auto manufacturer for producing the ULC car model.