Latest Car News in India

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

By Kamal Swami

M&M speculating to offer tough competition of MSIL, Ford, with new MPVs

India's largest utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is planning three to four new soft-roaders and a new family of multipurpose vehicles (MPVs) to recoup market share to meet the emerging challenge from rivals — Maruti BSE -1.61 % Suzuki, Renault and Ford— in the compact utility vehicle segment. The soft-roader segment meant for city roads is growing rapidly with Maruti Ertiga, Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport dominating the space. There are over a dozen new utility vehicles from Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai India, Honda Cars, Renault, Nissan and Fiat waiting to roll out in the next two years. 
ET learns the company has started working on family of multipurpose vehicles (3-4), which will come with an all new design language. And the essence is on delivering quality and getting products first time right. The new design language for multi purpose vehicle was approved by the senior management just this fortnight. M&M is expected to develop a new MPV on Ssangyong X100 platform to take on Ertiga, there is a talk of all new modern looking Xylo and there will be an MPV on the W201 platform. All these products are expected post 2015-16. 
Just like the car, the utility vehicle segment is getting further divided into four different sub-segments namely rugged SUVs, premium crossovers and SUVs, MPVs and compact SUVs. The new initiative will focus on building strength in UV. The soft-roaders such as the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga make up almost 30% of the overall market and have been growing by over 25-30%, and the traditional UV space posted a decline of over 25-30% in this fiscal. After the growth of over 50% in FY13, the utility vehicle space has seen a decline of 4.59% in April to January period of FY14.
M&M has been badly hit, with sales declining by 18% to 1.77 lakh units, and marke share falling from 47% in April to April to January period of FY14. M&M on its part will see two new compact SUVs codenamed S101 and S102 between Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 8.5 lakh on all new platforms and a rugged SUV (U301) in the Bolero space in the next two years. But apart from new SUVs, ET learns the company has started working on family of multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), which will come with an all new design language.

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