Sales of Mahindra’s golden goose, the XUV500, are not what they used to be some months ago. The SUV famously flew off the shelves and overshot Mahindra’s production capacity for the first few months after its launch, and even after that managed to hold steady at roughly 3,500-4,500 units a month – a really impressive figure for such an expensive SUV. However, lately, the company has only managed to find about 2,000 new XUV customers each month.
Mahindra says a big reason for this was the government’s new SUV tax, announced at the 2013 Union Budget, which instantly raised the price of the XUV500 and indeed Mahindra’s other mainstay SUV models. Also, the launch of the Renault Duster and, more recently, the Ford EcoSport will have certainly had an impact on the XUV’s sales. An As we reported earlier Mahindra has found a way around the SUV tax by lowering the ground clearance rating of the XUV500, but to further boost sales, it is also evaluating a lower-spec version of the popular SUV.
Likely to be called the W4, this base model XUV will have no changes to the exterior or the mechanicals, although like the W6, it will be 2WD only. The W4 will get a more basic infotainment system and an air-con unit without automatic climate control, and will do away with convenience features like rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps.
However, although the spec has been finalised internally, Mahindra has not yet green-lighted this new variant for showrooms. This is because it wants to see if the W6 and W8 variants (now with lower prices thanks to the new ground clearance rating) manage to re-ignite the sales charts. Mahindra is looking at a target of about 3,000 units a month, and if it can meet this with the existing models alone, the W4 will be kept on hold.Also read