Mahindra is developing a small car for the Indian market. The small car, which is expected to be priced in the Rs. 2.5 lakh – Rs. 3.5 lakh range, according to reports will likely be launched in 2014.
The small car from India’s largest utility vehicle maker will be built on an in-house platform and will be powered by a sub-1000 cc engine. Mahindra’s small hatchback will compete with Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai’s upcoming car, HA. To read more about upcoming launches from Mahindra click here.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Mahindra has selected four primary vendors for the project codenamed ‘BRL’ and has even showed the prototype to them. The vendors involved in the BRL project include specialists in powertrain, steering system and lamps. For the BRL project, Mahindra will setup a factory in Tamil Nadu with an initial investment of about Rs. 800 crore.
With 70% of India’s car sales coming from small cars in the Rs. 3-5 lakh price range, it isn’t surprising that Mahindra is willing to participate in the mass market segment.
While Mahindra remains India’s largest maker of utility vehicles, the company has slowly been turning itself into an auto giant spanning all segments of vehicles. Mahindra is the maker of India’s only electric car, the Reva, after buying the company from Maini enterprises. It also has a substantial stake in two-wheelers now after buying out the scooter business from Kinetic. Also read: Mahindra W201 spotted in South Delhi
It managed to get some expertise in cars after its two joint ventures that both landed on the bench. The first was with Ford in 1996, when it launched the Escort, and the next was with Renault where it launched the Logan, now called the Verito.
It has also got a substantial presence in mini-trucks, such as the Gio and Maxximo and has made a foray into heavy vehicles with Navistar trucks and buses. The only thing missing in the Mahindra portfolio seems to be small hatchbacks, which it now wants to develop on its own, having gathered substantial experience with other products.
The upcoming W201 SUV is another product that will put a few more feathers in the company’s cap. It will be the first M&M vehicle developed indigenously that has a monocoque chassis and transverse engine. The mini Xylo also nearing launch is another indigenous Mahindra product that will be in a unique position in the market.
Mahindra has all the ingredients in place to get into the highly competitive small car market with a widespread sales and service network and a decent reputation among buyers of its iconic products such as Scorpio and Bolero. But it’s an unforgiving market where buyers are used to high quality, cost-effective cars.
Can Mahindra deliver? Tell us what you want to see in a Mahindra small car.