In a tussle to make its mark in the hatchback segment, Mahindra & Mahindra plans to launch a hatch based on the Verito platform soon in the Indian auto industry. The homegrown auto-major aims to expand its footprints in all the segment, not just in SUVs and MUVs. The new hatchback will be manufactured solely by Mahindra engineers.It is speculated that the new hatchback will be named as Vibe, and will be priced competitive to the market, with the diesel version to be tagged around Rs. 6 lakh. The new hatchback will compete against Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo and many more.
Speaking on the same, Pravin Shah, Chief executive, automotive, at M&M, said, "The entry into the compact car segment gives us an opportunity to learn more about the Indian car market and expand the customer base." Mahindra Vibe will be powered by the same 1.5L Renault diesel engine that also does its duty in Verito. The new hatchback will be a sub-four metre in length to avail the lower excise duty of 12 per cent. As per the recent Indian rules, the car with more than four metre length need to pay 24-27 per cent excise.
The company sells around 1,500 units of Verito sedan per month in India. According to the industry experts, Mahindra & Mahindra wants to enter into hatchback segment to counter the increasing competition in the utility vehicle segment. The company's utility vehicles account for 45 per cent of the total sales, which includes pickups and commercial vehicles. Currently, firm accounts for 47 per cent of the utility vehicle market in India.
"By launching products on the Verito platform, M&M is exploiting the platform strategy to get additional volumes," VG Ramakrishnan, MD at Frost & Sullivan consultancy, said. "Mahindra will by no means be a large car player in the near future. It requires huge investments," he said. The recent financial crisis and market slowdown has affected M&M's sales, as its car sales fell 12 % to 14,133 units, however its UV sales rose by 32 per cent to 2.39 lakh units.
Source : ET
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