Premier Ltd., formerly known as Premier Automobiles Ltd, has re-entered the Indian passenger vehicle market with a compact SUV named RiO. The Premier RiO aims to cater to the segment between mid-size passenger cars and larger utility vehicles. The car was unveiled today by Mr. Maitreya Doshi, Chairman & MD - Premier Ltd.
The RiO can accomodate 5 people comfortably and is powered by Premier's 1489cc turbo diesel engine based on Peugeot technology delivering close to 65bhp. It has a fuel efficiency of about 16 km/l. The vehicle, based on a Daihatsu model, will be sourced from China through a component supply agreement with Zotye group.
Premier will assemble the RiO at its Pune plant and sell it through its dealer network in a phased roll out starting with West and South India. The company currently has 30 dealers that it is expanding to 100 in the next six months thereby creating an all India network. Premier is beefing up its sales and service support and will be offering a 3 year warranty for the RiO. According to a company spokesman “Our spare parts pricing will not be a profit centre but rather provide customer service and delight”.
The RiO will retail in three versions with the base model priced at around Rs 5.25 Lakh and the deluxe model at Rs 6 Lakh (Ex-showroom, Pune), making it nearly Rs 1.5 Lakh cheaper than other SUVs on the Indian roads. All models come equipped with power steering, front power windows, central locking and CD/MP3 player. There will be both A/C and non-A/c versions. Higher models will have additional features like anti-lock breaking system ( ABS) and alloy wheels.
The RiO comes with foldable split rear seats thereby providing multiple seating configurations and, its unique feature is a very high ground clearance enabling it to comfortably operate on all types of roads. Premier will commence deliveries in December 2009. The initial production has already commenced and the first cars are expected to hit selected dealer show rooms in the first week of November for customer display.