Premier automobile recently re-entered the Indian passenger vehicle market with a compact diesel SUV named ‘RiO’. The Company introduced a petrol engine version of this compact SUV across major metros and select Tier II cities in a phase - wise manner. The RiO caters to a niche segment between mid-sized passenger cars and larger utility vehicles.
The RiO petrol version is powered by a 1173cc engine, delivering 77BHP and offers 15 kms/litre, while the diesel version is powered by a 1489cc turbo diesel engine based on Peugeot technology delivering 65BHP of power, offering 16 kms/litre of fuel efficiency. Based on a Daihatsu model, this vehicle is sourced from the Zotye Group (China), which sells close to 1,00,000 units of this model per annum worldwide, from its state-of-the-art plant near Shanghai.
Premier assembles the RiO at its Pune plant, based in Chinchwad, and has been selling it through its dealer network in a phased rollout. Currently, the company has 50 dealers and eyes a network of 100 dealers in the next 12 months, thereby creating a pan-India network. The carmaker is revving up its sales and service support, in addition to the three-year warranty being offered for the RiO. According to a company spokesperson, “Our spare parts’ pricing will not be a profit centre, but rather provide customer service and delight.”
The RiO is available in four versions, accommodates 5 people, with the base model price starting from Rs 4.7 lakhs and the top-end model at Rs 6.3 lakhs, (ex- showroom prices, Pune), making it nearly Rs.1.5 lacs cheaper than any other SUV on the Indian roads. The RiO is available in four colours i.e. red, white, silver and black. All models are equipped with power steering, front power windows, electrically operated door mirrors, roof-rails central locking and CD/MP3 players. The higher models have additional features such as anti-lock breaking system (ABS), keyless entry and alloy wheels. RiO is also equipped with foldable split rear seats, thereby providing multiple seating configurations and its unique feature is high ground clearance enabling it to operate on all types of roads.
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