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Get your Bajaj Chetak electric scooter: Booking opens now

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Bajaj Auto will reopen bookings for the Chetak electric scooter from Tuesday. Disruption in supplies from China and a long waiting period had led to bookings being halted twice during 2020. Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Auto, said they will be resuming bookings on April 13 in Pune and Bengaluru. Over the year, the company would be aiming to go to about 24 cities, Sharma said.

According to Sharma, there was better visibility of the supply chain and the company had developed alternative sources, but did not disclose the component level sourcing plan. Bajaj Auto plans to ramp up production cautiously.

The Bajaj Chetak was designed and developed in-house and launched in January 2020 in Pune and Bengaluru. The electric Chetak, manufactured at the Chakan plant, was priced at `1 lakh, offering a range of 98 km per charge and the response has surpassed the company’s expectations. However, faced with interruptions in the supply of key components sourced from Wuhan in China after the pandemic, the company was adversely affected and so decided to stop taking any further bookings. Booking for the electric scooters were halted in March 2020 and then again in September 2020.

Since then, competition in the electric two-wheeler space has increased with TVS iQube, Ather 450X and Ola Electric’s 10 million electric vehicle capacity plant. Sharma acknowledges that the EV sector will see new and vigorous competition and they will be considering this in their plans. But at the same time this will facilitate the development of this sector, Sharma said.

However, Sharma was more worried about the lockdown plans in Maharashtra and in other parts of the country. The proposed lockdowns will be of grave concern as it would immediately impact sales, retard the economic recovery at the mass segment level and dent consumer confidence, Sharma added.

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Automobile producer MG Hector to deliver 100 ambulances in Nagpur and Vadodara

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MG Motor India has delivered eight units of retrofitted Hector ambulances to Nagpur local authorities in the light of rising coronavirus cases. The custom-built ambulances are equipped with modern life-saving systems.

The eight units delivered are out of 100 such vehicles requested from MG Motor India for Nagpur and Vidarbha regions by Union minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. MG says that it accepted the minister’s request and immediately delivered eight units of the ambulance to Nagpur local authorities. “The minister has called for our support at this critical time. We have immediately deposited 8 of the 100 requested Hector Ambulance units, “MG Motor India President and MD Rajeev Chaba said.

The retrofitted ambulances have been custom-built by the company’s engineers at its Halol plant located in Gujarat. All the SUV ambulances have been equipped with the required medical additions such as a medicine cabinet, ventilator, an oxygen supply system, 5 parameter monitor, auto-loading stretcher, an inverter with battery additional sockets, a siren, a lightbar, and a fire extinguisher.

In March this year, the company had donated five units of retrofitted Hector ambulances to Nagpur’s Nangia Specialty Hospital. For this, the carmaker has collaborated with the MG Nagpur dealership. Before this, the company had also donated these ambulances to hospitals in Vadodara and Halol in Gujarat. Speaking about this in March, Chaba had said, “We have received positive feedback about the Hector Ambulance from GMERS in Vadodara and CHC Hospital in Halol, wherein they have added tangible value to the region’s fight against the pandemic.”

Various automakers have stepped up to help the country reeling under the crisis of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford India, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor and Skoda Auto India, among others, have helped procure essential medical supplies, set up Covid beds and made relief donations.

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