Bajaj Auto Ltd launched its first-ever four-wheeled vehicle on Tuesday, saying the RE60 would target commercial users and three-wheeled vehicle owners in India, and that production could involve Nissan and Renault.
The unveiling of the four-seater RE60 ended months of rumours that have buzzed around India's auto industry on the nature of the vehicle, which promises low carbon emissions and fuel efficiency, the company said in a much-anticipated launch.
The vehicle resembles an over-sized hatchback with an elevated roof .
Bajaj is India's second-largest two-wheeled vehicle maker, and is the world's leader in the three-wheeled vehicle segment, which includes the popular rickshaw taxis used across Asia's third-largest economy.
France's Renault SA (RENA.PA) and Japan's Nissan Motor Co, who worked with Bajaj on developing what was slated to be an ultra low-cost minicar, will decide on co-operation on the RE60 in the next few days, Bajaj Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj told reporters.
At no point we intended to be contract manufacturers for Renault-Nissan... With small or big modification, we can supply to Renault-Nissan if they wish, Bajaj said.
They have not seen the product... If Renault-Nissan were to walk away, that is also fine with us.
Renault-Nissan will view the vehicle for the first time at this year's India Auto Expo, Bajaj added.
The event, held once every two years, begins in New Delhi on Thursday.
The RE60 will be manufacturered in Bajaj's plant in Aurangabad in western India, and will be made available to customers in the next few months, Bajaj said.
Shares in the automaker, which opened strongly in anticipation of the RE60 launch, were up 0.3 percent at 1480 rupees in early afternoon trading. The overall market was up about 2 percent.