Bajaj Auto will likely showcase their ULC (Ultra Low Cost) car at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. The much awaited small car from Bajaj will take on Tata’s cheapest small car, the Nano as far as price in concerned. The biggest USP of this car will likely be its fuel efficiency and low price factor.
Bajaj first showcased its concept ULC car at the Delhi Auto Expo 2008. The car was a near production vehicle and there were high expectations that it would hit showrooms soon. However, the ULC project was stalled temporarily due to alliance mishaps between Bajaj and Renault-Nissan.
In 2010, Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan CEO had announced that the ULC project was on track and declared that Bajaj would handle the design, engineering, sourcing and management while Renault-Nissan would come into the picture for marketing and selling the ULC car.
Later, in May 2011, Bajaj Auto announced that it was planning to launch a commercial vehicle based on its upcoming ULC (Ultra Low Cost) car by 2012. This commercial vehicle may take on LCVs like the Mahindra Gio, Tata Ace, Mahindra Maxximo and Tata Ace Zip.
Developing a 4-wheeler instead of a car means that even if Renault-Nissan, Bajaj’s ULC project partner rejects the small car developed by Bajaj, the company will still be able to reap profits with the small commercial vehicle.
Coming back to the small car, Bajaj had mentioned that its 4-wheeler will have a targeted mileage of 30 km/litre and will emit 80 – 90 gm of CO2 per kilometer beating even the Tata Nano (ARAI-certified mileage of 25 kmpl).
The small car could cost around Rs. 2.50 lakh and will take on cars like the Tata Nano and Maruti Suzuki Alto. This will help Bajaj attract buyers looking for their first small car which will be extremely fuel efficient and light on the pocket! It will be a challenging task for Renault-Nissan to market this vehicle after the mixed response that the Tata Nano got from Indian small car buyers!