Compact utility vehicles might be all the rage, but for Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), the segment brings no cheer. Facing a dip in sales following the popularity of compact SUVs in the market, what with the success of the likes of Vitara Brezza, Creta, Ecosport and Duster, M&M also jumped onto the bandwagon with its KUV 100 and TUV 300. But the enthusiasm was restricted only within the company and failed to permeate customers.
As a result, the company now finds that its original bestsellers Bolero and Scorpio continue to be the most sold vehicles from its stable in the first seven months of the current fiscal year (April to October).
M&M did not have a compact SUV when Ford and Renault stormed the domestic market with the Ecosport and Duster four years back. Subsequently, Hyundai and Maruti joined the fray by launching Creta and Vitara Brezza.
When the Mumbai-based M&M launched its own vehicles, the expectation was to increase market share in urban pockets, but that did not happen.
“In the traditional market, Mahindra has a strong brand value. So sales of Bolero and Scorpio are still better. In the urban market, where compact vehicles are popular, customers look for vehicles with new looks and superior interiors, and brand perception matters. Global OEMs are now offering good products in the segment. For any impact, M&M has to give a better value proposition in its products to customers compared to others in this segment,” feels Puneet Gupta, associate director, IHS Automotives.
Interestingly, XUV 500, one the more expensive products of M&M in the utility vehicle space, has registered more volumes than TUV 300, a much cheaper vehicle. The average monthly volumes of Bolero and Scorpio were around 5,248 and 4,072 units, respectively, during the first eight months of the fiscal. For KUV 100 and TUV 300, numbers stood at 3,424 units and 2,269 units, respectively.
At present, almost 45% of the total volumes in the SUV segment comes from compact vehicles. Cars like Vitara Brezza of Maruti have average volumes of almost 10,000 units per month. In the festive month of October, the volumes TUV 300 stood at 3,022 units and KUV registered sales of 2,615 units, which were much less than Ecosport, Vitara Brezza or Creta.
Bolero was launched by M&M in 2000 and became an instant hit. It remained the most sold utility vehicle in the domestic market for more than a decade. Subsequently, the company also launched Scorpio, a more premium car compared to Bolero, in 2002 and it also went on to become one of the most successful vehicles from Mahindra.