Kazwa MPV - Rajah Motors


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Ever known what was India’s first MPV? Made by the Rajah Group, an ayurvedic health care service provider , the Kazwa was produced from a small plant in Chavakkad, Trissur district, Kerala.

As came in the Indian Express in 1998

Financial Express: Kazwa all set to hit the road today

Rajah Motors, part of the Rs 50-crore beedi major Rajah Group, will roll out Kazwa, the first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in the country on Saturday. The company will start full-fledged commercial production of the vehicle next month. The Chavakkad-based small scale unit is also planning to introduce a small car by the year 2000. Directors of the company said here on Friday that the eight-seater car had all the latest features like power windows, power steering, dual air conditioner, central locking and alloy wheels. The custom-made car has been priced in the range of Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.

They said Kazwa would be the first luxury car to be produced in Kerala and the first customised car in India. The buyer can choose to add or alter the interior, seating or the like, keeping the basic design intact, they added.

The car would be available in different shades according to the choice of the consumer. The company is sourcing nearly 70 per cent of the mechanical parts

The company is sourcing nearly 70 per cent of the mechanical parts, including the 2,000cc diesel engine, from Hindustan Motors Ltd.

Rajah Motors has also tied up with Hindustan Motors for marketing and after-sales service of Kazwa, they said. However, the basic design for the vehicle was developed by the company itself.Initially, the company is planning to introduce the vehicle only in Kerala and Tamil Nadu markets.

The company's production unit in Chavakkad at present has a capacity to produce 150 cars per annum. This year's target is 50 cars for which the booking is already over, they added.

They said the company, despite being in the small-scale sector and highly labour-intensive in nature, has not so far got any excise duty exemptions. If the government extend duty concession, that would help the finances of the company in a big way. That would also help the company to slash the price of the vehicle considerably, they added.

They said the company would bring out a mini four-seater car by the turn of the century. They said the two-cylinder diesel car would be priced around Rs1.5 lakh.

Technical Specifications of Rajah Kazwa -

Engine: Diesel, turbocharged
Cylinders: 4 in-line
Installation: Longitudinal, Rear-wheel drive
Valvetrain: 2 valves/cyl, SOHC
Displacement: 1995 cc
Max Power: 70bhp@ 4500 rpm
Max Torque: 16.0kgm@ 2500 rpm
Brakes Front: Discs
Rear: Drums
Type: Power assisted, hydraulic, diagonally split
Kerb weight: 1470 kg
Wheelbase: 2,610 mm
Fuel economy Overall: 22 kmpl (Sources say as per ARAI, Pune)

Pic: BharatAutos via Overdrive
 

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Thread Starter #3
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Thanks for Sharing the news Droy eager to see this on Indian roads.
The information about Kazwa is decade old(its a 1998 news).They brought out but were not able to make it.Can be considered as defunct car.
 
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Yup. I remember seeing one on the cover of Auto India in the 1990s. Based on the Espace. I do not know the actual numbers produced but I am yet to come across someone who says he/she has seen one on the road.
 
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Some more :

The story of Kazwa is interesting one that needs to be told, if only for the fact that it is absolutely and completely unconventional. The Kazwa was built by Rajah Motors (now called KMPL – Kajah Motors Private Limited) of Cochin, an enterprise that is owned members of a joint family whose regular business include the assembly of bidis (Kajah Bidi)and the running of Ayurveda health farm, amongst others.

Being avid automobile enthusiasts, the family was keen to get into manufacture of sportscar through the kit car route in early 90s. The project was shelved after the search for a suitable partner turned up nothing. It was in 1994 that they got hooked on the idea of an MPV for India. They thought it was a good idea for India and that it would sell well. Thus began project Kazwa.

In July 1998, Rajah Group launched India’s first ever MPV called ‘Kazwa’. The name Kazwa was chosen because it sounded like Japanese and hails from a rare breed of camel, which is another MPV in itself! India’s first MPV was constructed at their small facility at Chavakkad near Trichur.

It’s a tragic story. Rajah ended up making only seven MPVs and none were offered on sale. It’s a full two years before Toyota entered India with the Qualis, whose unprecedented sales would establish MPVs as a viable segment in India. Now, 12 years later, with the MPV market about to explode thanks to the imminent arrival of a few Innova-beaters, I thought it was time to revisit the Kazwa. It’s only appropriate, right?

Kazwa is spacious and 30mm wider than the Innova, especially in the second (of three) rows. Locally sourced, wide and comfortable seats are standard. The Kerala-based car had latest features like power windows, power steering, dual air conditioner, central locking and alloy wheels. Of course, it all looks a little old now, especially the chronologically correct dials look like they have based on those of the Maruti Esteem and steering wheel comes from Opel Astra. The custom-made car has been priced in the range of Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.

It was powered with Hindustan Isuzu D 2.0-liter 56 hp engine, under the hood. Hindustan Motors was responsible for supplying the engine, gearbox, driveline, suspension, power steering and the braking systems – all bits from Contessa diesel. 72PS – the Kazwa’s peak power – is a respectable number. The large glass area made for excellent visibility to the point where it makes the Innova feel a bit claustrophobic.

Kazwa has the unique chassis. They didn’t resort to the standard ladderframe and chose to do a base sheet steel platform on which the superstructure is built. The fibre glass body panels were then mounted on the steel chassis and Rajah Motors kept an eye on good fit and finish levels. The fibre glass may actually have been a problem for Rajah Motors – the Sipani Dolphin, the other fibre glass failed to do well commercially and the non-steel body panels were often made the scapegoat.

Source:Bharat Autos
 

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The car designed resembles Renault Escape of 1980s vintage..It was great effort but as usual all upstart enterprises require a market and customer which was non - existent in 1990s.
 
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OT: Kajah family is car craze people and they got huge collection of cars both vintage and modern cars. They got around 20 mechs maintaining their machines. One of the later gen member from their family runs the Jerry's Performance here in Trivandum (Jerish Becker). And the Renault Espace they bought for reverse-engineering is still with them [:D]
 
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This car was featured in a malayalam movie 'Harikrishnans'. I was staying at a nearby place when they built this car. I still remember, there were many news in local news papers about the car.
 
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