The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Bajaj Auto will form a new joint-venture in India, held 50% by Bajaj Auto, 25% by Renault and 25% by Nissan. The new joint venture will develop and produce a new low cost car called the ULC, which would have a price tag of USD2,500 onwards. Not sure what ULC stands for at this moment, but I’m guessing something to the lines of Ultra Low Cost.
The Bajaj ULC will most likely be a production version of the Bajaj Lite concept car (shown above) displayed at the New Delhi Auto Show earlier this year. The Bajaj Lite concept featured a 2-cylinder engine and driven to the wheels via what Bajaj says is a new type of transmission that is a cross between a manual and an automatic.
That sounds like a manual with a computer controlled clutch like the Savvy’s AMT gearbox to me, but we’ll see what Bajaj has up its sleeves. Could a centrifugal clutch like a bike’s (Bajaj is a bike maker) be used on a car? Actually, it has been used in the past, but we’re talking about cars from the 1930s here.
Bajaj managing director Rajiv Bajaj was quoted referring to the Lite concept to say, “It will be priced competitively but not sell on the pricing. Offering the customer twice the fuel economy is more effective than offering half the price.â€
Two more photos of the Bajaj Lite concept after the jump.