India’s leading utility vehicle maker Mahindra is perhaps the prime casualty of the Supreme Court’s temporary ban on sale of diesel vehicles in Delhi. Given that majority of its portfolio consists of vehicles with 2-litre plus diesel engines, Mahindra is in a bit of a fix as far as selling vehicles in the NCR region is concerned.
Mahindra currently has around 1,000 diesel vehicles in stock within their dealers which cannot be sold to the customers for now. To tackle this, the brand is contemplating a few alternatives, chief among which is to relocate the unsold stock to dealers outside the NCR. As for customers who have already placed their orders for affected vehicles including the Scorpio and the XUV500, Mahindra has revealed that they are making refund arrangements and offering alternatives in the form of sub 2-litre models like the TUV300 and the forthcoming KUV100.
Regardless of the consequences due to the ban, Mahindra is now strongly focussing on petrol engines as a part of its long-term plan. The firm has already invested close to Rs 500 crore on the development and manufacturing of the new mFalcon engine range that will debut in the KUV100 in January 2016. Ultimately, this new family of smaller displacement petrol engines will have derivatives ranging between 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre capacity.
Additionally, Mahindra is also looking at developing petrol-powered versions for the XUV500 and the Scorpio. The Scorpio, in fact, is also exported in petrol guise but not sold locally due to lack of demand for petrol-powered SUVs.
Coming back to the Supreme Court’s decision, Mahindra is now hoping that the auto industry will get a fair chance to put forward their views and recommendations during the court’s next hearing on January 5, 2016.