Responding to widespread news that its low-priced quadricycle Qute has got a European safety ranking of just 1 out of 5 in crash tests, Bajaj Auto today said the rank is still better than that of many popular cars.
“In a recent Euro NCAP report, the Bajaj Qute was accorded a 1 star rating, superior to the 0 star rating of popular cars including the VW Polo, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10, Maruti Alto, and Tata Nano,” it said.
It also said that Qute matched the 1 star rating of European quadricycles such as the Axiam Crossover, as also exceeded the 0 star rating of others including the Ligier IXO JS.
The crash tests were done at a speed of 50 km/hour. Qute has a speed limit of 70 km/hour and weighs 450kg.
The reports assume significance as Bajaj Auto has been prevented from introducing its quadricylce — which it says are far safer than the two-wheelers it will replace — by litigation.
The Automotive Engineers Association has filed a case in the Supreme Court of India questioning the safety of these vehicles. The Auto Rickshaw drivers’ association has also filed a case saying the vehicle will affect their livelihoods. The SC has granted a temporary stay on the vehicle.
Introduced in October 2015, the Bajaj Qute ended FY16 with a cumulative export of 334 units to 19 global markets ranging from Turkey and Russia to Indonesia and Peru.
“With a strong positive reception in all markets without exception, production at Bajaj Waluj is being ramped up to export over 500 Qute in April 2016 alone,” Bajaj Auto said.
“Currently total exports for FY17 are estimated at 10,000 units as the higher safety, lower emissions, and unparalleled fuel economy of the Qute finds favor amongst 2- and 3-wheeler consumers who desire these benefits but cannot afford a car. Even as Qute goes from strength to strength in its global markets, Bajaj continues to await clearance for the sales of Qute in India,” it said.