BUSINESS

Bajaj unveils concept car

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: Rajiv Bajaj (left), Managing Director, Bajaj Auto, unveiling the concept car ‘Lite’ in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: KAMAL NARANG

Special Correspondent

Showcases new premium scooter ‘Blade’

NEW DELHI: Bajaj Auto on Tuesday unveiled its new premium scooter ‘Blade’, two motorcycles — sports bike Sprint and new Discover DTS-I — and two models of ‘Lite’ four-wheel concept vehicle — all of which will be displayed at the Auto Expo starting on Thursday. It also announced plans to launch its small car project in collaboration with Renault and Nissan within four years.

Small car project

While the motorcycles and the new scooter will be launched in 2008, the ‘Lite’ range of vehicles will be available by 2009. The company plans to launch a ‘Lite’ passenger carrier and a ‘Lite’ commercial vehicle that will provide economical and environment-friendly transportation solutions for personal as well as goods movement at low costs.

“The ‘Lite’ passenger vehicle to be displayed at the expo has been entirely conceptualised and designed by the Bajaj team at Akurdi near Pune. Bajaj Auto will be spearheading the project while Renault-Nissan will give valuable inputs for development. This vehicle will be manufactured in the new Chakan plant near Pune,” said Bajaj Auto Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj, at a press conference.

On its small car project, Mr. Bajaj said it would be ready in the next three to four years and would not be on Rs. 1-lakh range. “Price is not the centre of the product, but it will offer twice the fuel economy than the existing products in the market.

“The small car can be powered by both diesel and petrol engines,” he said, adding that Bajaj Auto and French carmaker Renault were now undertaking a feasibility study for partnership in the small car project, which was likely to completed by next month.

New unit at Chakan

Mr. Bajaj also said that a new manufacturing unit would come up at Chakan with an initial capacity of 2.5-lakh units annually. The unit would also make a light commercial vehicle that BAL would launch in the first quarter of 2009, he added.