Bajaj Qute hits Indian roads after a six-year battle

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Published: April 19, 2019 12:32:59 AM

Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj showcased the quadricycle in 2012 but could not sell these in the Indian market and had to fight hard for gaining acceptance for this category.

After a six-year battle, Bajaj Qute hits Indian roadsAfter a six-year battle, Bajaj Qute hits Indian roads

After six years of legal battles and regulatory hurdles, the country’s first quadricycle, Bajaj Qute, has begun its journey on Indian roads. As many as 22 state governments have cleared the model while it has been launched in six states — Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. The company expects to cover 80% of the country soon.

Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj showcased the quadricycle in 2012 but could not sell these in the Indian market and had to fight hard for gaining acceptance for this category.

Quadricycles have existed in Europe for 30 years, it became a low speed vehicle category in the US in 1998 and in Canada in 2000 and now India will have a new category created thanks to Bajaj Auto. Their foray into the 4-wheeler segment is being positioned as a first and last mile intra-city transportation targeting both the commercial space and personal transportation segment. The company starts with a capacity to make 60,000 units a year at its Waluj plant in Aurangabad.

Qute is being pitted against the car, which the company says is the ‘most inefficient vehicle for intra-city’ use and the reason for today’s urban mobility crisis. Navneet Sahni, GM, Intra-city Business Unit, Bajaj Auto, said the Qute will hit a sweet sport in intra-city mobility between three-wheelers and cars. According to Sahni, as of now lot of traction was coming from the commercial space.

Prashant R Ahir, DGM, Intra City Business, Bajaj Auto said the target segment for the company in the commercial space was the autorickshaw owner who is waiting to upgrade but cannot afford to buy a taxi, a taxi driver aspiring to own a taxi but cannot afford it, aggregators and taxi service providers. In the personal segment, they are looking at those using two wheelers and ride 40-50 kms everyday, those delivery products door to door, small vendors and women in the family using daily chores, he said. The company is also talking to Ola and Uber to include the quadricycle as a new category in their offerings, Ahir said.

The Qute is light at 452 kg. It is powered by a BS-IV four stroke, twin spark-ignition single cylinder 4 valve water cooled DTSi 216.6 cc engine with top speed of 70 kmph. Qute can run on petrol, CNG and LPG too with fuel efficiency of 35 kmpl for petrol and 43 km/kg of CNG. It has a small footprint of 3.6 sq mts and a turning radius of 3.5 metres. It comes in six colours — red, green, yellow, blue, black and white.

The Qute is priced at `2,78,492 for CNG and commercial and at `2,48,061 for petrol and personal segment (ex-showroom Maharashtra).

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