It was first in 2012 Auto Expo when Bajaj Auto showcased its first quadricycle RE60 in India and ever since then Rajiv Bajaj and his teams are waiting desperately for a go-ahead from the government to implement quadricycles in India. Bajaj Qute quadricycle will ply on Indian roads soon. Earlier in February 2018, Indian Government had confirmed to legalize quadricycles as a separate mode of transport in the country and now The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways led by Nitin Gadkari has given a go-ahead to this policy with notification expected by the end of this week.
A report on The Hindu BusinessLine quotes Rakesh Sharma, President (International Business), Bajaj Auto saying, “We are delighted that Qute will soon enter the Indian market.” The report further confirms that the rollout of Bajaj Qute for the Indian market will commence in next 2-3 months after acquiring necessary approvals from Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). It has been a long wait for Rajiv Bajaj who on several occasions have criticised the government for this delay.
With no legislation on quadricycles in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, kept the four-wheeled modern auto rickshaw away from Indian roads but that is now all set to change. Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto will now be a very happy man to see the Bajaj Qute running on Indian roads. Bajaj Qute is already been manufactured and exported from India. Emerging global markets in Central America are the key focus markets along the company will soon start exporting Qute to Mexico and Peru. Bajaj also says that Qute has also been a popular model in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Earlier Rajiv Bajaj had expressed its disappointment over lack of legislation for quadricycles by saying, “If your innovation in the country depends on government approval or judicial process, it will not be a case of ‘Made in India’, but ‘Mad in India’. After six years, we are still waiting for permission to sell our four-wheeler in the country.” The ultra low-cost four-wheeler also referred to as a microcar and has been a talking point for years now and has also been a pain for companies like Bajaj. Earlier, Renault and Bajaj had announced a partnership to bring in the microcar named RE60 to India but lack of legislation and failure of products like Tata Nano saw these investments taking a back step.
Bajaj Qute will directly take on the booming 3-wheeler market in India and if successful will provide a better last-mile connectivity especially in urban areas. There has been a lot of talks related to the safety of quadricycles, but we believe that these will be safer than the many existing e-rickshaws and existing three-wheelers. Bajaj Qute will get a smaller 215cc petrol powered engine initially and expect Bajaj Auto to come out with CNG/LPG versions available in future.
Upcoming new infrastructure, smart cities and extensive expansion of metro rail in many urban cities, quadricycles will play a crucial role in last-mile connectivity. Expect other Indian automakers including Mahindra and Tata Motors will soon venture into this space with this government’s decision. Auto Expo 2018 saw Mahindra showcase two new start mobility solution concepts - Mahindra UDO and Mahindra Atom electric vehicles.