Premier launches Rio SUV in India

Premier lunched a  mini SUV called Rio. Priced at Rs 5.25 lakh, ex-showroom, Pune, for the base variant, the Rio is targetted as a luxury mini-SUV that will act as an alternative to premium B-segment hatchbacks, as well as SUVs such as the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and Mahindra Bolero Invader.

The Premier Rio will be offered initially at 20 dealerships across the country and it plans to ramp that number up in the coming months. These dealerships will be different from those that sell Premier commercial vehicles – the Roadstar and the Sigma.

Premier’s new-SUV is developed using kits supplied by Zotye in China, and is based on the first-generation Daihatsu Terios. Powered by Premier’s own engine that is essentially a downsized Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine, the Rio’s engine capacity now measures in at 1498cc and develops 65 bhp of peak power. The engine is Euro-III ready and the company is taking adequate steps to meet Euro-IV emission norms, come April 1, 2010.

The Rio will be offered in three trims. The EX, which is priced at Rs 5.25 lakh, the DX at Rs 5.50 lakh and LX at Rs 5.95 lakh – all ex-showroom, Pune.

The Premier Rio is based on the first generation Daihatsu Terios and now Zoyte has bought  all the rights for manufacturing the vehicle.

This is a very good segment as it has little competition. The only problem Premier could face is the dealer network, as currently the number of dealers is very few and Premier plans to increase the number to 100  in the coming months.