This is something Pawan Goenka, president, Mahindra Automotive Sector had said nearly a year ago. The company was ready with lower variants of its flagship XUV500 to launch when the time was right.
The timing seems appropriate now, with sales of the Mahindra XUV500 dropping to just 2,253 units in April, down from 3,187 in March and a steady decline from a peak of 4,600 vehicles in September 2012. With a general slowdown in the car market, and with competition in the form of the Renault Duster eating into some of its market share on the lower end, Mahindra is planning to bring out a lower spec variant of the XUV500 to effectively challenge the Renault Duster. Also see: Mahindra XUV500 research hub
According to a post on Team-BHP, Mahindra is planning to introduce the W4 variant of the XUV500 soon, which would have fewer features than the W6 variant. We think features such as cruise control, static bending lamps, fog lamps and two airbags would probably be removed from the lower spec W4 variant, dropping price by at least Rs. 1.5 lakh. This would place it squat in the middle of Renault Duster territory, which seems to be the vehicle that’s eaten into the XUV500’s pie.
Sales of the Renault Duster have been inching up, with the Duster clocking a whopping 6,313 units in March and 5,362 units in April, effectively beating all other SUVs in its price segment including the Mahindra Scorpio on the lower end and XUV500 at the upper end of its price band. Mahindra is apparently working on an all new version of the Mahindra Scorpio, which would only be available by end 2014 or early 2015, so in the meantime it has to bring in more choice in the Rs. 9 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh segment – a price band where a lower variant of the XUV500 would fit in nicely. Also read:Mahindra confirms new Scorpio for 2014
The company is also reportedly working on a higher spec variant of the XUV500, which would be positioned above the W8 / W8 all-wheel drive variant. This would have a few more features and possibly an automatic transmission as well as a twin-turbo engine developing up to 170 bhp of power. And then there is the Mahindra S101, a compact SUV that would probably be priced below the Ford EcoSport. Also read: Mahindra speeding up S101 testing