The market leader in utility vehicle segment, Mahindra & Mahindra, is planning to launch a new base variant of its successful Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), XUV500. This will help the car maker in pricing the model competitively by availing the lower duty charges. The XUV500 has managed to sell more than 50,000 units in 16 months since its launch in the Indian auto market. However, the high excise duty has been levied on SUVs in the Union Budget of 2013, which affected the sales of these vehicles in the Indian market. This move from Mahindra & Mahindra to launch the low-spec variant of the XUV500 is intended to boost the sales volume and availing excise duty benefits as well.
The top car manufacturers in the country are already tapping the utility segment with newly launched compact SUV models. Mahindra & Mahindra too owe their position of fourth largest car manufacturer in the country to the success of its SUV line-up. So, it is no wonder that the car maker has decided to unveil a low cost variant of its flagship model, XUV500. Codenamed W4, the new base variant of the compact SUV has already been developed and will be launched in next few months.
Notably, Mahindra & Mahindra has been facing a low demand for its flagship model lately, owing to few technical faults in the SUV that is otherwise perfect in all respects. However, the company was quick on its heels and began resolving the issues by taking into consideration the customer feedback. At the same time, the launch of new SUV models by Mahindra & Mahindra and other car makers, as well as the hike in excise duty took its toll on the sales volume of the XUV500.
The Mahindra XUV500 remains dear to the automotive giant as the model has garnered several milestones in terms of sales since its inception in the country. It faced a decline in sales with the advent of Renault Duster, which outperformed both XUV500 and Scorpio in terms of volume. Mahindra & Mahindra is determined to change the tide in its favour with the launch of its low-cost W4.
Mahindra & Mahindra XUV500 has W6 as its current base model, which comes with a price tag of around Rs. 12 lakh. The yet-to-be-launched W4 will be positioned below the W6 and will be devoid of several features to make do for the price cut. It is expected that the new model will come devoid of automatic headlamps, automatic temperature control, 6-inch multimedia system and rain sensing wipers.