Wednesday, October 11, 2006

SAS to take on Bajaj with electric 3-wheele

A home-grown tractor maker from North India SAS Motors is preparing to take on the might of Hamara Bajaj in the three-wheeler market in India, with a little help from across the Great Wall.

SAS Motors, which recently took over a state-owned automobile company in China's Shandong province, is planning to drive into India a range of Chinese load-carrying and passenger electric three-wheelers at a price that's less than half of what Bajaj charges today.

The vehicles have been prototyped and SAS Motors is in the process of fine-tuning the models before seeking regulatory approvals and hmologation certificates for introducing them.

"We will begin seeking approvals for the three-wheelers by year-end and hope to introduce them in by next fiscal," SAS Motors MD Ravindra Kumar told ToI.

"The three-wheelers will be available in both cargo and passenger versions. We expect to price it under Rs 40,000 in the Indian market," Kumar said. In comparison, three-wheelers are today priced in the Rs 1.25-1.5 lakh range.

The vehicles have been developed by Laiyang SAS Motors, a Chinese company that is now owned by SAS Motors. "These are electric three-wheelers, which will be powered by a rechargeable deep-discharge battery.

To bring down costs, we are looking at building a battery manufacturing unit next year," Kumar said. The firm, he said, is in the process of identifying land and has zeroed in on Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh for setting up the plant.

SAS Motors sells small Chinese tractors under the Angad brand. SAS had first made headlines when it introduced the country's cheapest tractor a product sourced from China at Rs 99,000. It is today the second Indian tractor maker, after M&M, to set up a base in China.

Source:- TimesOfIndia