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M&M forays into low-floor buses

Mahindra Navistar, the commercial vehicle joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra and US-based International Truck and Engine Corporation, is planning to enter intercity luxury coach and low-floor city bus segments.

autos Updated: Feb 17, 2011 21:44 IST
Manu P Toms

Mahindra Navistar, the commercial vehicle joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra and US-based International Truck and Engine Corporation, is planning to enter intercity luxury coach and low-floor city bus segments. These buses are under development and the likely launch is in 2012.

Mahindra Navistar is likely to place their intercity coach a little below the high end players Volvo and Mercedes Benz.

“We are developing a 16-tonne bus platform. This platform has various possibilities including intercity luxury coach and low-floor city bus,” said Rakesh Kalra, managing director, Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd.

The long distant intercity bus will be diesel-run, while the low-floor city bus will run on CNG. Mahindra Navistar already has four bus variants below 7.5 tonnes and sells 5,000 units a year.

Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Volvo Eicher are the other major players in this segment.

MNAL’s 15,25 and 32 seaters, which mainly target school bus market, will go for a major revamp. “We will have power steering and air-condition options for the existing portfolio of buses,” said Kalra.

MNAL launched two BS-III trucks – a 25-tonne tipper and a 40-tonne tractor trailer – priced R23.6 lakh and R19.3 lakh (ex-showroom Pune) respectively.