It was the 2008 Delhi Auto Expo when Bajaj Auto first presented its ‘small car’. Four years later, they unveiled the prototype of its evolution, Bajaj RE60, stating that it is a four wheeler that isn’t a car. It has been three years since and the quadricycle still hasn’t found itself on front page with a price tag. Instead, it is being featured as an example for the wrong reasons.
Is it a classic example of misunderstanding by the public, or one spun to look like it by its rivals who do not have an equivalent artillery?
Rajiv Bajaj, the man behind the company that sells the largest amount of three-wheelers in India, is possibly risking the aforementioned business by introducing a better alternative in the form of RE60 quadricycle. Why do it? It’s the same reason people are fighting against the advent of quadricycles, safety.
Mr. Bajaj says, you’re looking at it from the wrong perspective. Quadricycles like Bajaj RE60 are designed to add safety to commuters on two wheels and those who travel by auto rickshaws, not as an alternative to cars. Just because it has four wheels, it doesn’t mean they can be considered as cars. They are quadricycles and they have their own applications and safety standards.
In everyday Indian scenario, it is not uncommon to see three-wheelers carrying up to 10 or even more passengers, by adding reinforcements that have no analytical proof for safety. And there is no speed or weight limit to such vehicles. They can even measure over 6 metres in length and are legally allowed to be driven as fast as the common speed limit sign says.
Whereas, the technical specifications for a quadricycle are restricted. Mr. Bajaj points out that while two wheelers with absolutely no protective feature, can to have engines of over 200 hp, a quadricycle that can do only limited speed and which is not allowed outside city limits, are not allowed to be powered over 20 hp. And they call this unsafe. If three-wheelers with no hard shelter are welcomed, why protest a machine with an extra wheel for stability (for lesser chance of getting overturned) and hard walls all around for safety?
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Will RE60 be accepted if Bajaj removes one wheel and calls it an auto rickshaw with four doors? Or even the doors be removed? He says, the bigger picture behind them not getting clearance, is to give rivals time to get their quadricycles ready.
Via – Business Standard