Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) is developing a new utility vehicle for India and other global markets at its newly set up Mahindra North American Technical Centre based out of Detroit, US. The new vehicle, likely a large MPV, according to industry sources, will be launched in 2017.
Pawan Goenka, executive director and president (automotive) told FE: “We have put Europe R&D plans on hold, but in the US we are going ahead. We have hired 35 plus engineers and we are developing a whole new product there that will be launched in 2017. Its in the UV segment and will be sold in the global markets starting from India”.
While all-new products like a compact SUV will only be launched after a year's gap from 2015-16, M&M will introduce a major refreshment for its popular 'Scorpio' model around the festive season this year in a bid to protect its almost 42% market share in the 5.25 lakh unit (annual volumes) UV segment from aggressive rivals like Ford, Maruti Suzuki and Renault.
Goenka said monthly sales volumes are also expected to improve from June, as the high base effect goes away for M&M. “Sales in May went up overall, so looking at the industry its a positive sign. We expect further improvements in June and July. For us, we had the base effect in May, because our slowdown started only from June last year. So May was high base, and now we expect some positive signs from June,” he said.
In May, M&M's volumes fell 21% to 19,470 units, though the overall passenger vehicle market grew about 3% to 2.07 lakh units.