Chakan: Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) launched compact SUV TUV300 at an introductory price starting at Rs 6.9 lakh (ex-showroom Pune), as it aims to strengthen its market share in the utility vehicles segment.
The TUV300, which comes only with a diesel engine, is priced up to Rs 9.12 lakh for the top-end variant which showcases the AMT (auto gear shift) technology.
"The TUV300 embodies Mahindra's tough and rugged DNA which makes me confident that it will be a brand creator in its segment and find favour both in India and globally," M&M Group Chairman Anand Mahindra told reporters here.
TUV300 will take on the likes of Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster that are priced between Rs 7.88 lakh and Rs 13.54 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Besides, it will also compete with compact crossovers such as Toyota Etios Cross, Hyundai i20 Active and Fiat Avventura, which are priced in a range of Rs 6.23 lakh and Rs 8.89 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Commenting on the production capacity, M&M Executive Director Pawan Goenka said the company has the capacity to produce 5,000 units of TUV300 a month.
"Production capacity can be further enhanced depending upon the market demand," he added.
Asked if the company plans to launch a petrol version of the vehicle, Goenka said, "We are developing 1.2 litre (model) with Ssangyong which will debut this fiscal. In the next 3-5 years, all the models we launch would have petrol engine option."
The company is also looking to export the vehicle to various global markets.
"To start with, we are looking to ship the vehicle to South Africa in next few weeks where we have good presence and then to neighbouring countries," M&M President and Chief Executive (Automotive) Pravin Shah said.
In the April-July period this fiscal, total utility vehicle sales in the country stood at 1,73,255 units, while that of M&M were at 62,558 units, translating into a market share of 36.1 per cent.
With TUV300, the company aims to strengthen its presence in the compact SUV segment. Quanto, another small SUV from the company's stable, has not been able to create sizable presence in the market.
M&M's forte has been in the bigger UV segment, with models such as the Scorpio and XUV500.
The TUV300 has been designed and developed in-house. Both the company and its suppliers have invested around Rs 1,500 crore for developing the vehicle.
The research and development of the model has been carried out at the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai. The vehicle will be manufactured at M&M's Chakan plant, where it also produces trucks and other vehicles on the Maxximo platform.
The company claimed that the vehicle, which is built on a completely new platform, offers an average of 18.49 km per litre.
TUV300 comes with rear wheel drive, boot space of 384 litres which can be expanded to 720 litres. It is equipped with a 1.5 litre diesel engine which delivers a power of 84 bhp.
"Several hundred engineers worked on the development of TUV300 for four years...we had said that we plan to launch nine vehicles this year. Already three products - new XUV500, Jeeto and a fresh Thar have been launched," Goenka said.
Commenting on the TUV300, he said that the vehicle 'excels' in all three aspects like safety, emissions and fuel efficiency.
"The vehicle meets all the safety regulations that are set to kick in from 2019. So we have met safety regulations four years in advance," Goenka said adding that only the BSIV compliant version of the vehicle would be sold in the country. He added that the company is currently producing 110 units of TUV300 a day at the Chakan plant which would be further enhanced to 200 units per day soon.
M&M President and Chief Executive (Automotive) Pravin Shah said that with the upcoming product launches the company expects its exports volume to rise further. "Currently, our export volumes stand at around 8 per cent. With new launches we expect the percentage to grow substantially," he added.
TUV300 will be available in seven variants. The vehicle comes with various features including static bending headlamps, brake energy regeneration, reverse assist, steering mounted audio and phone controls and voice messaging system.