Call it a last ditch effort. Call it that last burst of courage. In the SUV battle, the Tata Safari is making one final run for it, with sales jumping 28% to 1711 units in February. The main reason for this surge is the huge discounts of up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs in some cases on the Tata Safari, as the company’s dealers try to get rid of stock ahead of the arrival of the new Tata Safari Storme in showrooms.
The Safari has been around since 1998 with a few cosmetic upgrades over the years. It has seen various engine improvements too, having changed engines thrice, from the original 2-litre 90 bhp diesel to a 3-litre engine and finally with the 2.2 Dicor that currently does duty in the Safari. The new Storme improves on this further, with chassis and suspension enhancements based on the Tata Aria, and which should hopefully improve the sales of the Safari brand.
Better-looking Xylo pulls buyers
The refreshed Mahindra Xylo with added features and slightly more palatable looks is chalking up better sales. In February, sales climbed nearly 50% to 2796 units, after the launch of the refreshed Xylo. In fact, this is the highest the Xylo has sold in over 15 months, going to show that it is a vehicle capable of selling in higher numbers. The Xylo has all the features and more that a Toyota Innova offers, at nearly Rs. 3 lakh lower, but yet the Innova continues to dominate the MUV sales charts, selling nearly 6,300 units last month.
Just not enough XUV500’s to meet demand
As for Mahindra’s other popular vehicle, the XUV500, it continues to sell all it can produce. Mahindra held a draw last month to allot XUVs to 7,200 buyers after it received over 25,000 bookings in its second round of bookings that opened end January. The company is still trying to increase capacity to 3,000 vehicles a month at least to meet demand for the XUV. At the same time, it also has a commitment to export the XUV to South Africa and Italy and needs to produce enough to meet demand in these countries as well. The XUV500 AWD variant is being produced in small batches as well, as buyers for the AWD variant are not part of the draw that was held. The waiting period on the AWD variant is nearly four months.
Scorpio sales see moderate slowdown
The Mahindra Scorpio though seems to have run out of a bit of steam. After consistently selling an average of 4,400 units a month in the past six months, last month saw sales drop to 3,972 units. After the introduction of the XUV, the Scorpio has been under some pressure, as the price points of the XUV and the Scorpio are close, with the XUV offering far more features. However, Mahindra insists the buyers of these two vehicles are completely different and does not think there will be any cannibalization of sales.
This month there will likely be a further increase in prices for diesel vehicles and SUVs will likely be the most affected. However, with petrol prices also being increased, there is not likely to be a let up in demand for diesel vehicles even if prices are higher. So expect all these players to continue to chalk up higher numbers.