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Old 13th June 2013, 19:53   #1
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Default Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

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In a nutshell, Bajaj Auto is the Maruti of the autorickshaw sector in India. A dominant player in the Indian three wheeler industry, Bajaj Auto sells every second three wheeler in India. Apart from India, Bajaj's range of autorickshaws, known as tuk-tuks in many parts of South East Asia, are sold in countries across the world, from Sri Lanka to Colombia. Though Bajaj is involved in a bold experiment in the form of the RE60 Quadricycle, which is up and ready for a launch in India, the real volumes for the automaker in the commercial vehicle space come from the three wheelers. In that light, Bajaj Auto has revamped its entire range of three wheelers by jumping onto a brand new platform.



Bajaj Auto claims that the new platform brings a host of benefits to the table, so much so that the average autorickshaw driver can earn up to 20,000 rupees more per annum if he or she replaces the older autorickshaw with a product from Bajaj Auto's RE 'Compact' platform of autorickshaws. The RE 'Compact' platform of autorickshaws were launched earlier today. Available with two stroke and four stroke engines, the RE Compact range of Autorickshaws launched earlier today are sold with petrol, LPG and CNG fuel options. Both two stroke and four stroke engines are available, with the four stroke engines of the new platforms featuring Bajaj's signature DTSi twin spark ignition technology.

Bajaj Auto will use the new platform to underpin no less than 7 autorickshaws. The diesel variants of the new Autorickshaw range will be launched after a few months. Here's a list of claims that Bajaj Auto makes about the new range of RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws based on the new platform,
  • 10-15% better fuel economy
  • Improved durability for lower maintenance costs
  • Improved reliability for lower downtime
  • Contemporary Styling
  • Stronger Chassis
  • Improved ergonomics for driver and passenger

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 13th June 2013 at 19:58. Reason: News Link Added
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Old 14th June 2013, 00:11   #2
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Pathetic attitude of Bajaj where autos are concerned. They ought to have done something to autos at least a decade ago. But they seem to believe in the dictum 'if it ain't broken don't fix it'!

I do not know about other cities as much as Hyderabad. The pollution of their 2-strokes is so horrible that one cannot breathe. They do not do any study of 'auto-driver' practices or the concerns of auto drivers. All of the drivers put more 2T oil than necessary (as recommended by the manual) for some reason.

Either Bajaj should have discouraged them through education or find the problem which makes them do it and fix it.

The ergonomics of an auto - what is Ergonomics please? The structural rigidity of an auto- what is it? passenger comfort - what is it? Driver comfort - well, do not ask us.

They can't even fix the locking mechanism of the rear engine shutter - I do see many of the auto drivers using broken clutch wires or other contraptions to fasten it!

And the brake pedal and its ergonomics - the less said the better.

Well there was no competition, hence no need to innovate! It took them eons to add hydraulics to the front wheel brake!

Their auto-trolley died with competition from Ape and Ace. And the only thing that they can do is copy the Ape (apay?).

They could not even think of protecting the occupants of a 3-wheeler from rain! The local blokes have to innovate and build some low cost jugaad!

I understand their auto business is very profitable. And as a typical old school 'lala' they didn't do a thing till they got kicked in the shin by competition.

They should have come up with something like a Nano. Instead they build another rickety stuff called RE quadricycle and bitch that Tata's and Maruti's are against them and spin a conspiracy theory.

Get real Rahul, give better products.

Apologies for the rants. I used to own an auto for my son's transport to his school long ago and my experiences must have embittered me.
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Old 14th June 2013, 09:20   #3
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

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Originally Posted by soonya View Post
Pathetic attitude of Bajaj where autos are concerned. They ought to have done something to autos at least a decade ago. But they seem to believe in the dictum 'if it ain't broken don't fix it'!

I do not know about other cities as much as Hyderabad. The pollution of their 2-strokes is so horrible that one cannot breathe. They do not do any study of 'auto-driver' practices or the concerns of auto drivers. All of the drivers put more 2T oil than necessary (as recommended by the manual) for some reason.
.....
The Autos have helped in eradicating the Cycle rickshaws, which in turn replaced the 'Tongas'. Also in many villages and rural areas they provide the last mile connectivity from the bustop to the respective homes!!

That said in the cities they are a real menace, and a law unto themselves. The best place to experience this would be in Chennai (where nobody dare touch them, both figuratively and in reality) and the share autos in the IT hub in Hyderabad (even bajaj would be amazed to the see the number of people stuffed into a tiny auto and the brazen way its driven, with no intention of stopping unless someone needs to alight or board). It s like a fighter plane in the hands of the untrained, an extremely nimble, agile and unbalanced by design with reasonably powerful engine. Many a time these drivers have no understanding of the road rules and courtesy, and their only intent is to earn a bust buck by abusing the poor vehicle. This is where they start using more 2T or 4T or 'god-knows-what' T in their vehicles.

The government and the automotive industry either need to bring this community under control or bring a good replacement to the Autos. There is already a dent to the business thanks to the Cabs. Atleast in Chennai, there is only a slight difference in the Auto rate(actuals) and the metered rate of Fasttrack (indica non-ac). I only pray that the cabs replace the Autos in the cities (then they would be the menance, but one less of the road, and an oppurtunity for a new thread!)

Last edited by raghu.t.k : 14th June 2013 at 09:22.
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Old 14th June 2013, 09:55   #4
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

It seems that there should something similar to CCI for players who operate without any compitition, atleast for some basic goveranance on their business operations, the product quality and innovations carried out by them. Are these products road worthy? I have doubts but yes we live in India.

Well for Bajaj - So far so good. There were Ambys and Padminis on Indian roads and now they are confined to Kolkata & Mumbai only - rest of India manages without them.

I hope, I see something happening to this segment in my lifetime !

Too bad Bajaj !

Last edited by i74js : 14th June 2013 at 09:57.
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Old 14th June 2013, 10:05   #5
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Passengers board/ descend from Auto always from left side of vehicle, then why not cover the right side with some shell panels?
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Old 14th June 2013, 13:20   #6
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

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Originally Posted by Thilak29 View Post
Passengers board/ descend from Auto always from left side of vehicle, then why not cover the right side with some shell panels?
This "feature" is useful as Autos frequently go against the flow of traffic in one ways
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Old 14th June 2013, 17:37   #7
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Please Bajaj!! Move on!! Even the Tatas are slowly trying to shed their commercial vehicle manufacturer image. What is wrong with you. As if our roads have not had enough of these ill-designed, uttely ugly and unsafe modes of transport. Why do you want to bring in a 'Compact' version of this contraption. Looks like competition is the only way that will drive you out of the auto business, just like what happened with your scooters. I, for one, will cheer the day the last auto is manufactured in India. They are a complete menace, especially by the way they drive and the way they overload. Can you not prevent overloding by adding two metal sheets on either side of your contraption. No. You would not do that. For, you risk losing your dear auto-wallah customer.

2-stroke engines. Aren't they banned? God knows what will happen if these things start plyng on our already over-crowded roads.
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Old 14th June 2013, 22:18   #8
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPrashanth View Post
Both two stroke and four stroke engines are available, with the four stroke engines of the new platforms featuring Bajaj's signature DTSi twin spark ignition technology.

Bajaj Auto will use the new platform to underpin no less than 7 autorickshaws. The diesel variants of the new Autorickshaw range will be launched after a few months. Here's a list of claims that Bajaj Auto makes about the new range of RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws based on the new platform,
  • 10-15% better fuel economy
  • Improved durability for lower maintenance costs
  • Improved reliability for lower downtime
  • Contemporary Styling
  • Stronger Chassis
  • Improved ergonomics for driver and passenger
So Bajaj is coupling the Pulsar 200 dtsi engine (older one) to a newer rickshaw and selling 7 models/variants of it?
What Bajaj needed is to get out of the rickshaw segment, but why would they? when they are making a killing by selling these rattletraps all across India at an eye watering price tag of Rs 200,000 per auto, only a law banning three wheelers will stop them.
And Bajaj should stop joking when they speak things like ergonomics, styling, safety etc regarding a rickshaw.
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Old 15th June 2013, 00:12   #9
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Does compact mean the size has been reduced?

From what I can remember 3 passengers were already a tight fit in autos.

But I'm surprised that the government has not banned 2-strokes for 3w despite doing it for 2w. Whats the logic?
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Old 15th June 2013, 06:32   #10
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

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But I'm surprised that the government has not banned 2-strokes for 3w despite doing it for 2w. Whats the logic?
When exactly did the govt ban 2-stroke engines at all?? And why should they be??

Two stroke two-wheelers are still available. There is the TVS Scooty Teenz, Mahindra Kine, TVS Moped that I can remember which are still on sale.

As for auto-rickshaws, lets not forget that they are a primary component of our urban public transport system. You talk about, banning them, but what is the replacement?? Do you expect them to be replaced by taxis?? How many of us who actually use auto-rickshaws can afford to use taxis?? Not to mention how much more fuel will be used by the taxis, at a time when India is heavily dependent of imports for fuel??

As for overcrowding, nobody is willingly overcrowding, or doing it out of some death wish. India is a poor country, where available resources are limited. Thus when a person has to get somewhere in a time bound manner, at times he or she has to board, or rather hang from, an overloded auto-rickshaw. At that moment, that person will be extremely thankful to everybody in question that an auto was there for him/her.

The only solution to auto-rickshaws, seem to be what Bajaj themselves have brought to India, ie quadricycles. Though Bajaj seem to want to take it much beyond just an auto replacement. And replacing quadricycles with auto-rickshaws will take time. Hope other manufacturers like Tata, TVS etc also join the quadricycle bandwagon so that within 5 years we can stop the sale of all new auto-rickshaws.
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Old 15th June 2013, 18:51   #11
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Going by Jay and soonya and also my personal experience, the biggest problem with autos are autodrivers themselves. While yes to a large extent the rattle traps are very dangerous, it is careless or rather reckless driving by the auto drivers which is to be blamed. In Delhi you can find an occasional civilised autodriver who will use blinker to cut or use hand signal but in gurgaon... Bajaj should start their equivalent of Maruti Driving School for all auto drivers and make the course for road safety and basic vehicle maintenance free. Consider it as a CSR initiative but as of now in my personal opinion, in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc, the autos should be replaced with RE 60!
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Old 15th June 2013, 19:29   #12
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

Sure, but do you see RX100 & KB100s?
Largest selling segment in 2w are motorcycles and its been a decade since they were banned. I guess there is some loophole for mopeds but thats only a small fraction of the market

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
When exactly did the govt ban 2-stroke engines at all?? And why should they be??

Two stroke two-wheelers are still available. There is the TVS Scooty Teenz, Mahindra Kine, TVS Moped that I can remember which are still on sale.

As for auto-rickshaws, lets not forget that they are a primary component of our urban public transport system. You talk about, banning them, but what is the replacement?? Do you expect them to be replaced by taxis?? How many of us who actually use auto-rickshaws can afford to use taxis??


Sir, when did I talk about banning ricks? I only said 2 strokes engine should be banned. Going by your logic of, 4 strokes give better mileage and use 'imported fuel' more efficiently
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Old 15th June 2013, 19:59   #13
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

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Sure, but do you see RX100 & KB100s?
Largest selling segment in 2w are motorcycles and its been a decade since they were banned. I guess there is some loophole for mopeds but thats only a small fraction of the market

Sir, when did I talk about banning ricks? I only said 2 strokes engine should be banned. Going by your logic of, 4 strokes give better mileage and use 'imported fuel' more efficiently
Two-strokes engines are not banned legally in any way at all. Their practical non-existence is due to market forces and not legal ones. Two-stroke engines 2-wheelers started to die the day Hero-Honda launched its 4-stroke engined fill-it shut-it forget-it bike, the CD100. 2-stroke engines cannot match the fuel efficiency of 4-strokers, even before one adds the cost of having to fill engine oil with each tank of fuel. Today, even though a few two-stroke engines do exist, they dont sell in large numbers. You will probably see those few models also die a death very soon. All due to market forces and not any legal issues.

As for the banning ricks part, I wasnt referring to you at all. I was referring to the few others above you. Sorry for the misunderstanding there.

BTW even among the autos, diesel engined ones predominate the market, thanks to the lower running costs. I dont think 2-stroke engine autos sell in any significant numbers in India. But Bajaj does sell these autos outside India as well. In certain parts of the world, like Africa for one, the easy serviceability of a two-stroke engine is an important factor in the minds of customers. Thus Bajaj have to keep these going. And if Bajaj is manufacturing it, and there are even a few customers for it in India they might as well sell it. So in all practical sense they are banned anyway.

OT: Lets not disparage 2-stroke engines. They are an important power source that keeps this globalised world of ours connected, as low-speed 2-stroke diesel engines are very common in large ships. For eg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4...er_RT-flex96-C
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Old 17th June 2013, 06:49   #14
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Two-strokes engines are not banned legally in any way at all. Their practical non-existence is due to market forces and not legal ones. Two-stroke engines 2-wheelers started to die the day Hero-Honda launched its 4-stroke engined fill-it shut-it forget-it bike, the CD100. 2-stroke engines cannot match the fuel efficiency of 4-strokers, even before one adds the cost of having to fill engine oil with each tank of fuel. Today, even though a few two-stroke engines do exist, they dont sell in large numbers. You will probably see those few models also die a death very soon. All due to market forces and not any legal issues.
I think you have slightly wrong information. Two strokes have been banned in the cities that were originally in the list of eleven (correct me if I am wrong with the number) that were marked for reduction of atmospheric pollution. While the four wheelers are required to comply with BS Stage4 norms, two wheelers and three wheelers are expected to comply with BS Stage3 norms.

The industry contested the ban that was imposed upon two stroke engines by saying that the Government cannot choose technologies and that it could only set emission norms that had to be met.

Cities such as Hyderabad have actually banned the addition of new autorickshaws but that is overcome by people registering new vehicles in nearby district and plying them in Hyderabad. Registering vehicles in the muffossil area means that the pollution norms are diluted there. And that is how two stroke engines which are still legal as per BS Stage 2 norms (they are applicable to small engines in areas which are following BS Stage3 norms for cars and bigger vehicles) find their way into cities.

And funnily enough I came to know through a Mahindra two wheeler dealer that corporates such as Mahindra and Bajaj and also TVS exert pressure on local RTAs to open small windows in which time some two stroke vehicles such as the Kine and the XL 50 are officially registered. I do not know the veracity of this information. But what I do know is dealers register vehicles in nearby towns and villages where two strokes can still be sold and sell them as second hand to customers even though they are brand new. The buyers of the XL 50 moped are mainly electricians, carpenters etc and to get a new vehicle for an affordable price, they do not mind it being second hand.

Last edited by Mpower : 17th June 2013 at 18:01.
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Old 17th June 2013, 08:43   #15
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Default Re: Bajaj RE 'Compact' Autorickshaws range launched in India

[quote=sadsack;3151303]
Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
I think you have slightly wrong information. Two strokes have been banned in the cities that were originally in the list of eleven (correct me if I am wrong with the number) that were marked for reduction of atmospheric pollution. While the four wheelers are required to comply with BS Stage4 norms, two wheelers and three wheelers are expected to comply with BS Stage3 norms.

The industry contested the ban that was imposed upon two stroke engines by saying that the Government cannot choose technologies and that it could only set emission norms that had to be met.
You have got the correct information, but have misinterpreted me a bit.

I agree two-stroke engines vehicles cannot be sold at times , due to emission control issues.

But the same emission norms apply to 4-stroke vehicles too. Thus two-stroke engines have not been banned per se. Its just that 2-stroke engines dont meet the requisite emission norms, and thus cannot be sold.

But the death of two-stroke two wheelers had started long before strict emission norms dealt a major blow to them. Like I mentioned previously, low fuel efficiency compared to 4-strokers was the major cause of their death.
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