AM Online

LLi to assist mobility in developing nations

A collaboration between a leading automotive component manufacturer and north-London based company LLi could be set to change the face of rural mobility in developing nations around the world.

Managing director Les Lawrence has told AM of his plans to start selling the new vehicle within two years, initially in India, but in time licensing its production globally.

He says: “We are well underway with the vehicle’s development, with work currently being undertaken by Ricardo.

“We have also enlisted the services an ex-VW/Audi designer from a small studio in London. “We have big plans for this vehicle and expect Indian sales of 65,000 within the second year of production. After that, the opportunities are tremendous, with China being an obvious choice for expansion.”

The vehicle, which is likely to use a two-cylinder, common-rail diesel engine to power the rear wheels, (LPG versions will also be offered), is to retail at £1,500 on the road.

Aware that even this modest asking price may be a significant sum for many low-income customers, Lawrence says: “We are planning some pretty innovative finance offerings, including the option of whole villages to collaboratively purchase a vehicle.”

LLi has a long history with the Indian automotive industry. Lawrence previously worked at British car designer International Automotive Design (IAD), which was responsible for the design of several Indian projects, including the Tata Safari.

Lawrence started LLi in 1998 to assist Asian automotive manufacturers and their suppliers find the most suitable paths for design, engineering and development projects. It also facilitates joint ventures between Asian and European companies.

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