Bajaj’s small car will hit the markets by 2011. Bajaj has entered into a joint venture with French car manufacturer Renault and Japanese car manufacturer Nissan to develop an ultra low-cost vehicle to rival the Nano. Bajaj will sign a formal agreement in this regard next month.
The car is likely to be priced at $ 2,500 or Rs 1 lakh even when the car is launched in 2011. Bajaj will own 50 percent of the Joint venture, and the rest will be shared between the Renault and Nissan.
But Rs 1 lakh is the price when it rolls out from the factory. Other costs such as VAT, Octroi, sales tax, local municipal tax and other duties will be added before it finally reaches the consumer.
According to Nissan spokesperson Simon Sproule, “The Rs 1 lakh price will be maintained till the car hits the market. The price has been evolved keeping in mind of the future changes in car pricing, its input costs and other expenses. The said cost will be the manufacturing cost while other costs such as taxes and duties will be borne by the customers.”
Mr. Sproule said, “The car will be developed in India. Key components such as engine, chasiss and design will be borrowed from Renault-Nissan’s global R&D centres. All the three companies have agreed to concentrate on specific areas when developing the car.”
The tri-party plans to manufacture the car at a new facility at Chakan plant near Pune, the land of which is owned by Bajaj Autos. The plant has a capacity of 4 lakh units per annum.
Auto exports have opined that the car price could cross the Rs 1 lakh price tag, as it could come with more features and a superior design. However, there would not be much difference in the engine capacity in variants.
The ultra-low-cost car is yet to be named, but it may be re-called that Bajaj had showcased its concept car in the January Auto Expo.