Maruti's Rabbit Gypsy pitted against M&M's Cheetah XUV500
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Competition is only fair when both the rivals are comparable. This is what the Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), Anand Mahindra meant, when he tweeted "Is it safe to let rabbits roam where cheetahs prowl?" This was his response to one of his follower's query on the social networking site Twitter on whether he could be a part of the Mahindra Great Escape on his Maruti Suzuki Gypsy. The remark would have left the concerned person feeling miserable about his once-best-in-class SUV.
Mahindra Great Escape is a popular non-competitive rally, which is conducted by the company officials for its impressive range of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), including XUV500, Scorpio and Bolero.
Mahindra XUV500 has had a fair share of glory in the last few months with advance bookings on an unusual high. The XUV500 is a perfect blend of good looks, performance oriented engine and the price, which is easily affordable for an SUV enthusiast. Post the car was introduced in September 2011, its bookings were stopped for 4 months as over 8,000 units were sold out within merely 10 days. When bookings reopened in January 2012 for a period of 10 days, 25,000 applications were received; however, only 7,200 were selected through draw. With a car having such an aggressive track record in his stride, Anand Mahindra would not care enough to call the Mahindra Gypsy a 'rabbit'.
On the other hand, the tough design and superior performance of the 970 cc displacement engine of Gypsy was unmatched in the Indian market at the time of its launch in 1985 and the car remained in limelight for quite a long time. Thereafter, the company introduced a re-worked edition of its well-acclaimed Gypsy in 1996 with 1298 cc engine, which was named as the Gypsy King at that time. The same model is currently available in three variants, which have faded out in the light of more stylish and powerful off-roaders. The car is available with a modest price of less than Rs. 6 lacs, and that is the only thing which seems to be going its way in the competitive market.
However, soon after his comment on Gypsy, Anand Mahindra simmered down and said that he had made the remark in a lighter mood. This came after another twitter follower called his remark on the Gypsy 'cocky'. "Humorous answer to a humorous jibe. I'm sure you wouldn't prefer me to be humourless," Mahindra responded to the second comment.
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