We talk to Vivek Nayer, Senior Vice President – Marketing, Automotive Sector Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd on the Thar's marketing proposition
-The Thar, being a 4x4 open-topped jeep, caters to a small segment. What is the Thar’s target audience?
There is a whole bunch of guys out there who love 4x4, love going outdoors and off-roading. But to do so they don’t have a modern option today. They would like a vehicle with looks which are retro and jeep-type, lets say the MM540 look. They would want an engine that performs. So, we have come up with the Thar; the exterior is like the MM540's, it has a rugged four wheel drive's characteristics and we’ve given it a modern new engine, that is a deadly combination. This is what people have been asking for.
The second target-group is city-centric, one that would would like to drive down Marine Drive or Carter Road. It’s a cool dude thing,“I want to drive in an open top vehicle coz my friends have Honda City, but hey I have an open top, I can have my friends and my girlfriend sitting behind.” As a group you can go out and party…
The third targetgroup consists of people who own a farm house. These are people who own tea estates and rubber estates and want a tough rugged vehicle with a modern engine to run around their estate garden. That segment is going love this vehicle; they’ve been waiting for it for a while.
-Why must someone buy the Thar?
The price point is very interesting. At 5.99lakh it is a very attractive proposition. You have a 4 wheel with a modern engine drive on offer. There also is a nice accessory kit for 30 to 40 thousand.
Plus there are some enthusiasts who will want to add to the car on their own. So the price is so low and attractive. They can buy the vehicle, go to the after market and may be do things which reflects their own unique style. A lot of people will want to do this, so we have kept that in mind, kept the price low, so that they can do that.
-Will there be enough production to meet the demand?
Based on consumer research, we have been getting good feedback. There is a lot of waiting and we are trying to address the demand.