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January 04, 2012

Will RE 60 do the trick for Bajaj?

Interestingly at the first look RE 60 is a disappointment. It does not have great looks but the pedigree of the group is impeccable. Ravi says that RE 60 it is for the three wheeler segment buyers. I am confused. Is Ravi saying that it is for three wheeler auto drivers? Or is it a replacement for the three wheeler? If so what about the costing? A three wheeler (LPG version) costs Rs 2,25,000/- in India. The rumors are that Bajaj RE 60 might cost between Rs 1,25,000/- and Rs 1,85,000/-. That would mean that RE 60 would be cheaper than the three wheeler auto rickshaw. That would make things very interesting. Would the existing three wheeler auto drivers shift their loyalty?

The second point is the car itself. Bajaj RE weighs in at 400 kgs and is powered by a 200 CC engine. Would it have controls like that of a three wheeler auto? With a top speed of 70 kms/hour would it be liked by the two wheeler segment who might think of it as a first car buy?

The one point where the RE 60 could score well is the killer mileage that is being promised – a whopping 45 Kms/litre. Even if it gives 35 to 40 Kms/litre on road it would be a great value for money for three wheeler auto drivers and for inflation affected middle and lower middle class Indians.

Finally if the looks are improved, If auto transmission is given (targeting the women, the elderly, the youth below 18 years) if  it were made nippier and if it is positioned correctly it might become a winner that would make the brand consultant of Bajaj - Mr. Jack Trout very proud. Otherwise it will have the same fate of TATA Nano. A confused positioning . What TATA Nano and Bajaj RE 60 needs is clear positioning. No one wants to buy a cheap car. But yes people might buy a no nonsense easy to operate and easy to drive, high mileage delivering car. Let raise a toast to Bajaj team. God speed and all the best. 


  1. Thank you Sir for creating such an invaluable portal "Marketing Musings", I find it very informative as it helps me to enhance my Marketing Knowledge and to update with the Current Market.

    Sir, I just read the above article and I completely agree with you that if Bajaj RE 60 is to be a Success story it will need a clear positioning otherwise will have same fate of TATA Nano.

    After doing cost/benefits analysis it sounds if B RE 60 is a replacement only for Auto rickshaws then it will definitely be a BAJAJ's successful venture otherwise RE 60 would have an image of mahindra renault that is of "Taxi/cab".

    We can take example of few Asian countries like China, Japan, Malaysia, where three wheeler have been substituted by RE 60 kind of small cars to a great extent. Such cars are used there for public transport for short distance travel.

    In addition no one would ever like to buy a 200cc/ 400 kg Aluminium structure that too with awful looks for long distance/personal commuting though it can be used as a "Driving school's car".

    Waiting for valuable feedback..

    __ Ashwani Sikka.

  2. Great comments Ashwini,

    Really great to see such incisive comments. Your comments are cutting through as if knife cutting through butter. I agree with you that right now picture is fuzzy

  3. Dear Sir,

    Really when I saw the first look of the car, the only thing that came to my mind was, is it going to be able to attract the middle class Indian.

    Then one thing is that will even the Three wheeler owners like to purchase this as a vehicle. Because the capacity of three wheeler for transportation as usually used by the owners is around 6 to 8 people, which is a big constraint in this vehicle. So overcoming this challenge is a big problem.

    So, I would say we need to watch how Bajaj positions it and how the market takes this product.

  4. Well said. The plus point I see is that RE 60 might make things safer for passengers as more than 5 cant be cramped in a car. But would the passengers pay more for safety is the moot point. And in India many Autos are used as stage carriers (even though it is illegal).

    RE 60 could click in the cities as the passengers can protect themselves from the vagaries of nature like sun, rain and chill!