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M&M's new SUV all set to hit roads

autos Updated: Sep 02, 2011 23:34 IST
HT Correspondent

With the launch of utility vehicle — XUV500 — two-and-a-half years since the launch of Xylo in early 2009, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) hopes to create a new segment in mass volume SUVs.

M&M may launch XUV500, the fourth utility vehicle platform from its stable after Bolero, Scorpio and Xylo, by the end of this month. The price is estimated to be around Rs 15 lakh.

“The new SUV will take Mahindra brand to the next level of price range. We are positioning it above Scorpio. We find there is a gap between the upper end of mass volume SUVs in the price bracket of Rs 11-12 lakh and premium SUVs that are priced at R20 lakh upwards,” said Pawan Goenka, president, M&M.

“XUV 500 is the first monocoque SUV that M&M is launching. This is a front-wheel drive. So it is more ‘carlike,’” he said.

Mahindra holds 60% market share in utility vehicles. About volume expectations, he said “We are looking at selling it in thousands, not hundreds.”

M&M is positioning the new SUV as a global product and plans simultaneous launches in India and South Africa. Goenka said that the company plans to launch XUV500 in Europe and Australia within a year.

He did not reveal details such as exact pricing of the new SUV, its variants and fuel efficiency.

About upcoming products in utility vehicle space he said, "With this new SUV, we have four platforms. Not many have as large a range as we have. At Mahindra, we are not planning any other platforms as of now."

The company will launch a couple of SUVs from Ssangyong, M&M’s South Korean subsidy, this fiscal. The R&D wings of M&M and Ssangyong have begun to work closely to develop platforms, which will be used by both companies. The company is developing a hybrid vehicle too. It may use the XUV or Scorpio platform for its hybrid vehicle.