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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Zotye will be supplying car manufacturer Premier with vehicles kits to be assembled in India.

Premier Auto Limited (PAL) is attempting to get back in the game. Those of you who don’t remember this name, Premier Auto Limited (PAL) is the company which gave us the Premier Padmini a few years ago.

The Company plans to make a come back after 9 years with an interesting idea — to produce the Cheapest SUV in India till date.

This is set to be another ‘cheapest’ after the Tata Nano.

A Chinese four-wheeler company Zotye Auto will join hands with PAL in this new project. It is for the first time a Chinese automobile maker has tied up with an Indian company to produce a passenger car.

Zotye Auto is not a well known name. Zotye Auto will supply vehicle kits from China to Premier to be assembled at the Pune facility which has a peak annual capacity of 20,000 units.

The Compact SUV will be named Rio or Terra. The base model is priced around 5 lakhs. The Rio in truth is a first-generation Daihatsu Terios, which was produced between 1997 to 2005. Zotye purchased the tools from Daihatsu and uses it to produce the car in China and other markets.

Premier Auto will fit its own four-cylinder, 1.5 diesel engine and mate it to a 5-speed manual gearbox that can produce a power of 65 bhp. Drive will go to the rear wheels.

This SUV is rumored to be 30% cheaper than the base Mahindra Scorpio. The high end version would come with safety features like ABS and Airbags and that model will be priced around 7 lakh rupees.
http://indianautosblog.com/2009/10/pal-trying-to-get-back-into-the-game-with-rio
 

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Interesting debate can be followed at:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...-auto-edit-rio-quick-testdrive-page-10-a.html

The Rio is basically a small Chinese SUV which is sold in their domestic market by the Zotye Group. Premier has basically aquired rights to produce the car in India. The car will be made in Premier's Pune plant and will be sold through dealers across India Premier says that initial local content will be around 20 to 25%. The rest of the components will be Chinese. Premier will be making 500 units till March 2010. The Rio will come in three variants EX,DX and LX. The top end gets alloys and ABS. However even the top end LX gets just front power windows something which I feel should not be omitted in a 6 lakh rupee car. The top two variants come with a CD player as standard. No audio on the base model. They also have a non AC version. Regarding the equipment levels, some said that I could not ask for more in a car at this price but honeslty I have seen better. More details on the features and fit an finish in the pictures below.

I had the chance to take a short drive of the Rio. It is powered by the TUD5 diesel engine which earlier did duty in the now defunct Peugeot 309 GLD. The engine gives 65 bhp @4000rpm while max torque stands at 152Nm @3000rpm. The engine really feels underpowered and that is surprising considering the small size of the car. The Rio is not wide either and I would not rule out toppling at high speeds. The driving position is not great with the steering touching the legs of even a short driver like me. This gets quite irritating. The power steering is quite light though and driving it through traffic should not be a problem. Coming to the rear, the Rio is strictly a 4 seater as opposed to the company's 5 seating capacity. The rear seat has no thigh support and even I had to sit with my legs folded upwards. The rear seats are split and can be flipped forward to accomodate more luggage. I cannot comment on the ABS or brakes since I did not do any high speed runs. The Rio runs on 205/70 R15 tyres on 15 inchers. The tyres I saw on the car were some Chinese brand but on questioning the Premier official told me that they were offering Bridgestones as an option as well.

The Rio is the only vehicle of its kind in the market today. Its a different segment altogether. Premier hasnt really had a great success record when it comes to joint ventures. The Peugeot JV bombed big time and the Fiat one wasnt that great either. However I feel that the Rio could have some takers in the rural market where the base model could get some takers. The taxi market could have been a potential target too but I have my doubts on how a four seater will go down with the tourist guys. How Premier aims to make a success of the Rio remains to be seen. Prices for the Rio variants are as follows:

EX - 5.25 lakhs
DX - 5.50 lakhs
LX - 5.95 lakhs
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Over 2,000 bookings for the Premier Rio

Launched back in October last year, the Premier Rio’s desirable looks has worked as the company claims it has received 2,000 bookings from its 34 dealers.

Premier’s senior official :
We will begin the vehicle’s delivery shortly. We are starting dealers in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerela, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa in a month’s time. We are now also looking at cities in North India as we have been getting very positive response from them through this Auto expo, and Delhi would be the first city to get one.

The Premier Rio is a rebadged Daihatsu Terios from the 90’s and is manufactured by Zoyte in China. It is brought into India as CKD and at the Pune plant, Premier fits it with a diesel engine sourced from Peugeot.

The top-end Premier Rio comes with Airbags, ABS and alloy wheels. Premier offers a three year warranty on the Rio which comes in 5 colors.

On inspection during the launch last year, we found the interiors very boring. The legroom at the rear bench was not exceptional. The external appearance and the price tag makes up for the above shortfalls.

In the future, the Rio could come with the revolutionary Fiat Multi-jet engine which promises to sweeten the package.

http://indianautosblog.com/2010/03/over-2000-bookings-for-the-premier-rio#ixzz0hhRlSoeY
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Premier showcased their next generation Rio at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Rio is a compact SUV that the company launched in 2011 to tap the entry level SUV segment. The product did not work due to number of factors and the company has taken a lesson from all them. The ‘New Look’ Rio is essentially a Nomad II from Zotye with changes such as:

Curvy Headlamps
An integrated Grill
A rear spoiler
Beige upholstery

Currently the Rio is available with a 1.2L petrol engine with 77 bhp. Premier promises 15 km/l of fuel efficiency. It is also available with a 1.5L diesel engine delivering 65bhp and 16 km/L.

The diesel engine that is available on the Rio is a very old technology hence the company is testing a 1.3L Multijet engine for more refinement. Premier said the Multijet Rio will be available by April 2012.

It is available in Red, White, Silver and Black. All models come with:

Power steering
Front power windows
Electrically operated mirrors
Central locking
CD/MP3 Player

Higher models come with ABS, keyless entry and alloy wheels

Prices of the Rio start from 4.7 lakhs right up to 6.35 lakhs

Read more: http://indianautosblog.com/2012/01/premier-rio-facelift-multijet#ixzz1iqp1rR9c




 
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