Diesel version will be launched shortly

Bajaj Auto Ltd.(BAL), on Thursday, unveiled its new range of RE Compact three-wheeler passenger vehicles in two-stroke as well as four-stroke petrol, CNG and LPG versions. There will be seven variants on this platform, and the diesel version will be launched shortly.

RE Compact comes with advanced features such as higher fuel efficiency, lower maintenance cost, and better ergonomics. The vehicles will be launched in a phased manner across the country.

The two-stroke petrol version will be priced at Rs.1.03 lakh, while the four-stroke petrol variant will have a price tag of Rs.1.15 lakh (both ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Addressing presspersons here, R. C. Maheshwari, President (Commercial Vehicle Business), BAL, claimed that customers could save up to Rs. 20,000 annually owing to increased fuel efficiency, lower maintenance cost and improved mileage.

“We have around 85 per cent market share in the small-sized passenger three-wheeler category in petrol and diesel versions. The new range will help us defend our leadership position,’’ he said. The average investment on the new platform was Rs.50-100 crore.

Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, BAL, said, “We have been saying for some time that we are going to renew the entire range of three-wheelers. We will have a diesel version in a few months as it constitutes a large part of the demand. BAL will take around six months to replace the entire range.”

On an average, BAL exports 7,000 three-wheelers to Sri Lanka, 5,000 units each to Egypt and Nigeria and 3,000 vehicles to Peru. On export of the RE Compact range, Mr. Bajaj said, “Of the 40,000 three-wheelers sold monthly, we export a little more than half. So, it will be at least a few months before we start exports.”

Working on two new platforms

Mr. Bajaj said BAL was working on two new product platforms — larger sized 3-wheelers Maxima to replace Mega and mid-sized range Optima — for the passenger carrier segment. The petrol and CNG versions of Optima and Maxima will precede the diesel variant. These will be launched in the coming months.

BAL sells around 2,500 units of Mega a month. With Maxima, BAL will step directly into the space of competition.

BAL at present sells around 9,000 units a month of its diesel three-wheeler variant.

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