Mahindra has mastered utility vehicles built on the ladder frame chassis. The Bolero, Scorpio and the latest TUV300 are examples of that. Mahindra’s first ever monocoque SUV was the XUV500, which has now received a mid life makeover. While the TUV300 is a sub-4 meter offering that targets the Ford Ecosport, the XUV500 sits much higher, going against the Hyundai Creta’s top end variants. There’s a big gap between the TUV300 and the XUV500, for a monocoque bodied SUV/crossover that can take on the likes of the Renault Duster and the Hyundai Creta. Say hello to the Ssangyong Tivoli.
The Tivoli is a 4.2 meter long,monocoque bodied SUV that was developed by Ssangyong to take on the likes of the Suzuki Vitara and the Renault Captur in developed markets. The Tivoli can seat five adults, and features 1.6 liter petrol (124 Bhp) and turbo diesel (113 Bhp) engine options. 6 speed manual and automatic gearboxes are offered on this crossover. It has well furbished interiors and a decent set of features. Safety options such as ABS, airbags, ESP and the works, are standard on the Euro-spec version. Internationally, the Tivoli sits under the Korando, as Ssangyong’s entry-level SUV offering.
While there have been rumours about Mahindra considering the Tivoli for the Indian compact SUV market, the automaker is yet to confirm these rumours. Now though, Mahindra has just imported two units of the Tivoli into India, for research and development purposes. This move could be a prelude to Mahindra actually launching the Tivoli in India. However, this could take a couple of years to materialize as the Tivoli will have to be produced in India, with adequate amounts of localization, in order to meet stiff cost targets. With increasing competition in the compact SUV space, Mahindra would do well to sell the Tivoli here, as a bridge between the TUV and the XUV.
South Korean SUV brand Ssangyong, which is now owned by Mahindra, is also struggling in India with a single, slow selling vehicle – the Rexton. By adding the Tivoli into the equation, Ssangyong will have a good chance at recovering lost ground. Already, Mahindra is jointly working with Ssangyong to develop a range of petrol and diesel engines, which will power both automakers’ vehicles. So, there is more than one reason why Mahindra should launch the Tivoli in India. Even official word from the horse’s mouth is still awaited, what do you think. Should Mahindra take on the Duster and Creta with the Tivoli?