Clarity on rules soon to pave way for quadricycle push

With the government expected to clarify the rules on quadricycles soon, several Indian car makers are focussing on the segment, The Economic Times reported.

Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors have got active to be part of the new solution for last-mile connectivity. Bajaj Auto, which already sells a quadricycle in foreign markets, has asked component suppliers to be ready for higher production.

Mahindra is showcasing a quadricycle concept at the ongoing Auto Expo at Greater Noida near Delhi. Tata Motors, which was averse to the space in the past, is studying an entry into the segment.

Mahindra managing director Pawan Goenka, hinting at the company's plan to launch a quadricycle, told ET that a majority of the concepts showcased at Auto Expo 2018 would hit the market in the next two to three years.

Mahindra's quadricycle project, codenamed C101, has come up for discussion several times, but has not moved at the pace of other projects, said one of three people ET spoke to. Once the segment gets a green signal from the government, the project will pick up pace, he said.

"For a company which sells two-wheelers to trucks, it makes obvious sense to have a quadricycle as part of the portfolio. It is part of the plan and the showcase of the concept is a proof in itself of M&M's interest in the segment," said another executive close to the company.

The government is expected to notify rules for the segment in a fortnight. The minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, told ET in an interview that the safety standards for quadricycles will be more stringent than in Europe.

Tata Motors managing director Guenter Butschek said the company was studying the quadricycle segment, but clarified that it was not part of his priority list right now.

The company's former MD Karl Slym had opposed the move by the government to come out with a quadricycle policy in 2012-13.

Once the ministry notifies the rules, Bajaj Auto will have to clear a mandatory crash test to obtain certification from the Automotive Research Association of India to sell its quadricycle, , the Qute, in India.