Banned in India, Bajaj Qute is exclusively made for export markets as of now. First launched in Dec 2015, the new Bajaj quadricycle is being exported to 19 markets across the globe, from Turkey and Russia to Indonesia and Peru.
Until now, 334 units of Bajaj Qute have been exported. This month, with export network in place for certain countries, Bajaj aims to export 500 units of Qute. For FY17, the company aims to export 10,000 units.
Recently, Brussels EURO NCAP crash tested the Bajaj Qute for safety. Bajaj Qute quadricycle got 4 marks for frontal impact and 6 marks for side impact in crash test undertaken at a speed of 50 kmph thus scoring 10 out of a maximum of 32.
According to Euro NCAP, the very structure of the Bajaj Qute is unstable. Spot welds were released while deformation of the structure showed that it will not be able to stand a high degree of loading. Where side impact to A Pillars was concerned, the Bajaj Auto Qute door became detached from the hinges.
The very safety of Bajaj Qute quadricycle has been questioned ever since it was announced. The company listed out its benefits which put the quadricycle in the category halfway between an autorickshaw and a small car where price, fuel efficiency, safety and auto emissions were concerned. Largely, the Qute is viewed as a new-age small taxi for commercial purpose, which will replace the highly unsafe three-wheeled auto rickshaws from the market.
The company has also had to face a legal battle in the Supreme Court in the country against a stay on the new Qute for sales in local markets. Litigations were filed by Automotive Engineers Association and rickshaw Drivers Association as they viewed the new Qute as a potential threat.
But there are unconfirmed reports that this is work of rivals who do not want Bajaj to have a first-mover’s advantage in the segment. Speaking about other manufacturers in India who are currently working on developing a quadricycle of their own – Tata Motors, Mahindra, Piaggio, Eicher Motors, etc.
Bajaj Auto has been running ‘Free The Qute’ campaign. Till April 6, 2016 the support counter has registered 3,914 hits.