Automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra is readying two new models by the next fiscal-end as it looks to consolidate its position in the Indian passenger vehicle segment.
The company, which sells utility vehicles ranging from compact KUV100 to XUV500, also has plans to introduce a new electric vehicle in the next two years. “We have two products coming in the next two years. One is the U321 (code name) multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) which has been developed on the new global platform developed here in Detroit. It will come out this financial year,” M&M Managing Director Pawan Goenka told PTI.
The vehicle would compete with the likes of Toyota Innova and Tata Motors Hexa in the Indian market. “Second one is S 201 which is based on SsangYong platform Tivoli. It will come out in the next financial year,” Goenka said. Both vehicles will be launched in India first and the company would consider introducing them in other geographies as well.
The company sells nearly 18,000 passenger vehicles per month in the domestic market and its market share has been consistent at around 8 per cent for last few years. “Last couple of years, we have not grown market share, but similarly, we haven’t lost either,” Goenka said.
On the road ahead, he added: “Clearly, every company will wish to grow its market share and for that, we need to ensure our current products continue to do well and bring in volumes.” Asked about the company’s plans on electric vehicles, Goenka said the company would like to establish four models it currently has in its portfolio before bringing in a new product. “Though we are investing in future projects, right now, the focus would be on these four products and generate some volume for us. A new product probably would come in about two years,” he added.
About the company’s plans to launch passenger vehicle operations in the US, where it faced various issues in the past, Goenka said: “We had some lawsuits which all have been settled now. Right now, we don’t have any plans for on-road utility vehicles and our only plan here is off-road vehicle. We will wait and watch and then decide about the future.” In 2010, its exclusive American distributor had filed a lawsuit against the company “for taking too long” to launch a pick-up truck in the country.
On the two-wheeler business, Goenka said the company is now moving from the commuter segment to high-end premium bikes. “We are changing strategy as far as the two-wheeler business is concerned. We are moving away from the commuter segment to high-end premium bikes and we are working on bikes based on BSA and Yezdi brands,” the MD added. He, however, declined to give a timeline for launch of new products.
About the government’s decision to keep hybrid vehicles in the same slab as luxury cars, Goenka said: “We have given a representation to the government that even if they don’t want to give full sops they can look at partial sops. Otherwise, hybrid as a segment will die down.”
Under the new tax regime, hybrid vehicles are on the same slab as luxury cars at 28 per cent GST plus 15 per cent cess. At 43 per cent, total tax incidence on these vehicles is higher from the previous effective tax rate of 30.3 per cent.