Remember Premier Auto Limited (PAL) ? It is the same company that used to sell the Premier Padmini in India till some years back. (See Picture)
After nine years, the company owned by the Doshis, is all set to make a comeback into the Indian Automotive scene by launching a mini SUV called the Rio by this year end. For this, PAL has tied up with a lesser known Chinese Auto Company - Zotye International which will be supplying Premier with the vehicle kits. Premier will then assemble the CKD version of the car at its Chinchwad facility in Pune.
The Rio (or Terra) is actually a first generation Toyota Daihatsu Terios which was produced between 1997 to 2005. But now it will be sold under the Premier Rio name.
The baby SUV is expected to come with a four cylinder, 1.5 Litre Diesel Engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission with a power production of about 65bhp. It'll be having Rear Wheel Drive. The base model of the SUV will cost about Rs 5 lakhs, which makes it about 30% cheaper than the current cheapest SUV in India - the Mahindra Scorpio. The higher end version of the car with safety features such as the ABS and Airbags will come at a speculated price of about 7 lakh rupees.
Premier Auto hopes to sell 1000 units of the car initially. The company will be selling the car from its existing 30 dealerships accross the country, which will be expanded to 50 dealerships by year end.