Tata Motors is considering its small commercial vehicle, the Magic Iris, as a replacement for passenger three-wheelers in India.
This move will put the five-seater Iris in direct competition to the Bajaj RE60, whose launch has been delayed for the past two years due to litigation issues. Bajaj Auto, the Pune based manufacturer is the only company ready with a quadricycle that will be launched.
Tata Motors may have an upper hand as the Iris meets the M1 norms, which a three-wheeler does not. On the environment front, the Iris is safer and more eco-friendly.
What is a M1 Norm?
M1 represents passenger vehicles with the number of seats that does not exceed eight, in addition to the driver.
Though Bajaj will reveal the price of its RE60 quadricycle soon, it may be positioned between a three-wheeler and the Tata Nano.
This will also mean that the RE60 could be priced below the Tata Magic Iris, which costs INR 2.9 lakh, which is expensive.
At the moment, Tata Motors is facing issues in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu only. Otherwise, Bihar, Assam, Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan, have a go-ahead signal to sell the Iris as a fare-meter taxi.
The Indian automobile sector has clearance to run quadricycles for intra-city transport, provided it comes in a certain colour, with a fare meter and a ‘quadricycle' display board.