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M&M Prices XUV500 W6 At Rs 10.80 Lakh

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Mahindra XUV500 W6 (base variant) price starts at Rs 10.80 lakh ex-showroom Delhi," announced Pawan Goenka, president automotive and farm equipment sectors at Mahindra & Mahindra, and then there was silence.

While Goenka smiled and paused for a while expecting applause, a feeling of shock and awe took over. The fact that Mahindra's most anticipated global sports utility vehicle was priced close to a C segment sedan, and much below that of any competitive SUV in the country, stunned the crowd.

Fitted with a 2.2 litre mHawk diesel engine, delivering a power of 140 bhp and a capacity to go from 0-60 in a mere 5.4 seconds, the new horse from Mahindra's stable surprises further by boasting a mileage of 15.1 kilometres per litre.

"We are entering a segment which is not a mass market zone, but with XUV500 we are trying to create one," added Goenka. The utility vehicle maker says it is targeting customers planning to buy a C segment sedan like Honda City, Toyota Corolla Altis and Chevrolet Cruze to buy a fully-loaded SUV at the same price. Popular SUVs in the segment like Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Capita, and Mitisubishi Outlander are priced above Rs. 18 lacs.

The SUV, which will be available in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, and Chennai in phase I from 1 October , also features an all-wheel drive variant priced at Rs 12.88 lakh. While the pricing may not surprise many until a glimpse of the actual vehicle, the features loaded on this utility vehicle do justify the surprised faces.

Laden with a 6 inch touch screen infotainment system with GPS, driver information system, fully automatic temperature control, static-bending projector headlamps with LED parking lights, voice commands, tyretronics (tyre pressure monitoring system), and the list goes on.

Built on a new 'W' platform with a total investment of Rs 650 crore under the project name 'W201', this seven-seater beast adheres to the Euro IV and V emission norms, and features 6 airbags as a safety measure. XUV500 is the first product from Mahindra's Chennai research and development centre and will be produced at its Chakan plant.

Though the pricing may have some cannibalizing effect on its flagship Scorpio, Goenka says, "we are looking at growing the SUV market."

With an installed capacity of 2000 units per month, XUV500 (pronounced as five double O) will also be sold in South Africa, Australia, South and Central America, and Western European markets.

"I am hoping we'll take the global markets by storm," Anand Mahindra commented, adding that the pricing for the global market will be according to the local competition in those markets.

On the pricing front, the management says that the current pricing is an invitation price and is expected to remain the same for the next 2-3 months.

















VARIANT                                                                                      PRICING
Mahindra XUV 500 W6 two wheel drive                        Rs 10.80 lakh
Mahindra XUV 500 W8 two wheel drive                        Rs 11.95 lakh
Mahindra XUV 500 W8 four wheel drive                       Rs 12.88 lakh


While sceptics raise questions about the sales prospects of a Rs 10 lakh plus vehicle given the bearish purchase sentiment, Mahindra says, "We launched Xylo in January 2009, which was the peak point of the slowdown, but it was still a great success. We expect XUV500 to get a similar success."

The country is witnessing a slowdown in car sales; however the utility vehicle market has seen strong sales mainly due to some discretionary buying. Mahindra, which sells half of the UVs sold in India, has grown at the rate of 30 percent in the current fiscal.