Leading utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra would be launching its new premium compact hatchback in May this year, to compete against the likes of Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20, Ford Figo and Honda Brio. This vehicle, termed as Vibe, will be a hatchback version of the company’s popular Verito sedan. With a length that would be just below 4 meters, the Vibe would compete against a range of compact sedans as well.
Interestingly, Mahindra Vibe would get only a diesel engine, which would be the 1.5 litre K9K motor, same as the one used in the Verito. This engine will be seen mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox and a maximum power output of 68 bhp will be developed. This new vehicle is targeted towards young customers, on the lookout for a powerful vehicle with a good balance of interior space and fuel efficiency. Industry experts believe that the Vibe should be priced a little below Rs. 6 lakh.
At present, the utility vehicles (UVs) of Mahindra are very successful in the Indian market. In the compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) category, Mahindra Quanto has made a name for itself. Larger SUV Rexton, which has been built in partnership with SsangYong Motors, has become a global success and is slowly gaining grounds in the domestic sphere. Other SUVs such as Bolero, Scorpio and XUV500 continue to retain their dominance in the country. XUV500 is also being successfully used for rally purposes.
Despite new vehicles such as the Vibe diesel, which would be launched in the hatchback segment and the Verito, which holds ground in the sedan category, Mahindra will continue to be a dominant force in the UV segment. This is the category of vehicles which is bread and butter for the company and experts believe that the company’s foray into other segments would be limited.