Since the last few months, the Indian auto industry has been growing at a sluggish phase. While the excise duty cut in the Interim budget did manage to revive the economy, sales of manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata are barely showing a positive growth. At such a time, Mahindra has revealed that it is going to launch two new utility vehicles in order to capitalise on the lucrative compact SUV and MUV segment.
The two utility vehicles in question are being internally called S101 and U301. Both these vehicles are going to be completely new offerings from the Mumbai-based manufacturer, which are being developed in collaboration with their Korean subsidiary, Ssangyong.
Speaking about the company’s future plans, Mr. Rajan Wadhera, head of Mahindra Research Valley, said, "We have a robust product pipeline ready all the way up to 2019. Next year onwards, we would have a couple of new launches every year. The new product offerings would start off with a compact sports utility vehicle and a multi-purpose vehicle, scheduled for launch in 2015."
While a few specifics about the S101 are well known, details of the second car, the U301, are still shrouded in mystery. The U301 will take on the MUVs in the Indian market like the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Chevrolet Enjoy and the soon to be launched Honda Mobilio. The S101 on the other hand, will be a sub-four metre car, and we expect it to be priced very competitively between the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster.
The Ssangyong brand was launched in India to bolster Mahindra’s image as a premium car maker rather than just drive up its volumes. Jointly developing products helps in sharing the development costs as well as widens the scope of technological development.